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Chapter 4 Legal Liability

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1 Chapter 4 Legal Liability

2 Classification of Laws
Laws may be classified in the following ways: Type--written or common law. Source--constitution, statutory, case. Parties involved--public, private. Offense--criminal, civil.

3 Crimes Versus Torts Crime: Tort:
A wrong against the public for which the state prosecutes and which seeks punishment. Criminal intent is required. Tort: A private wrong where an individual sues seeking restitution. Intent is not necessary.

4 Civil Liability An offense can be both a crime and a tort.
Example: If one person strikes another, the assailant can be charged with crime of assault and also sued for tort of assault. Civil liability is a factor for private security. Civil actions can be brought against any private security personnel who commits an unlawful act. The officer’s employer may be sued as well.

5 Nondelegable Duties and Vicarious Liability
A nondelegable duty is: A duty for which authority can be given to another person, but responsibility cannot. Civil liability remains with the person who has the legal duty to act. Vicarious liability is: The legal responsibility for acts of another person because of some relationship with that person, such as the employer for the employee.

6 Categories of Civil Offenses
Civil law is further divided into 3 categories. (1) strict liability. (2) intentional wrongs. (3) negligence.

7 Definitions of Categories
Strict liability: Instances when the person is held liable to the injured party even though the person may not have knowingly done anything wrong. Also called liability without fault. Intentional wrong: An illegal act committed on purpose. Negligence: Occurs when a person has duty to act reasonably but fails to do so and, as a result, someone is injured.

8 Elements of Negligent Liability
The elements include: (1) Existence of some duty owed. (2) Foreseeable likelihood of the incident occurring. (3) Failure to meet a reasonable standard of care. (4) Proximate results-injury resulted from failure to protect. (5) Damages.

9 Actions Security Officers Most Frequently Sued For
Assault Battery False imprisonment Defamation Intentional infliction of emotional distress Invasion of privacy Negligence

10 Civil Rights Act-Section 1983
Section 1983 of the United States Code, Title 42, the Civil Rights Act, says that anyone acting under the authority of local or state law who violates another person’s constitutional rights-even though they are upholding a law-can be sued. Applies to use of force by private security. Applies to the use of lethal and nonlethal weapons by private security.

11 Reducing Civil Liability
Civil liability may be reduced by the following: Hiring wisely. Setting minimum standards for job performance. Establishing clear policies. Providing effective training and supervision. Using clear contracts. Carrying insurance.

12 Gallagher’s Six-Layered Liability Protection System
Policies and procedures Training Supervision Discipline Review and revision Legal support and services

13 Common Defenses Against Civil Lawsuits
They didn’t intend to deprive a plaintiff of a constitutional right. They acted in good faith. They acted with what was considered reasonable judgment at the time and with valid authority.

14 Summary Questions How are laws classified?
How does a crime differ from a tort? What is a tort? What is a nondelegable duty? How is civil law further categorized? What are the elements of negligent liability?

15 Summary Questions For what actions are security officers most frequently sued? What does Section 1983 of the United States Code, Title 43, the Civil Rights Act, establish and how might it affect private security? How can civil liability be reduced? What does the Six-Layered Liability protection System include?

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