Expert Representation from Our Civil Litigation Attorneys
Damages caused by a violent crime are the responsibility of the criminal. His assets subject to execution may be lost to the injured party. However, most people have no such assets. Also, most insurance policies do not cover these damages if the insured under the policy was committing a crime. The policy excludes intentional acts and criminal acts. If an insured was negligent in allowing the crime to occur, the negligent person may be held responsible for the damages and covered by the general liability policy. The homeowner’s policy may also cover such damages if not excluded under the policy.
When the criminal that caused the violence, death, or injury was an employee, the damages he caused could become the liability of his employer. This would be when the employer failed to conduct adequate background checks and employed a dangerous individual with a criminal history of violence. The employer would then be subjecting his other employees and possibly customers to danger and would be liable for the damages caused by the dangerous individual. This would be true when the employee assaults a co-worker, kills a co-worker, rapes a co-worker, etc.
If a bar, restaurant, store or anywhere licensed to sell alcohol serves or sells alcohol to someone who is obviously intoxicated and a danger to himself or others, then the Dram Shop is liable for crimes committed by that person due to intoxication. The drunk does not have to actually consume the alcohol that is sold or served to him. If the intoxicated person drives a car and hurts someone, the bar can be responsible for its negligence. If the drunk physically assaults someone while intoxicated, whether in the bar or after he leaves, the Dram Shop can be responsible. If the assault happens in the bar or restaurant, there may not be a liquor liability insurance policy. If there is such a policy, there may be a low limit of coverage in case the injury is caused by stabbing and a different low limit of coverage if the injury is by firearm.