LP Magazine

JAN-FEB 2018

LP magazine publishes articles for loss prevention, asset protection, and retail professionals covering shrinkage, investigations, shoplifting, internal theft, fraud, technology, best practices, and career development.

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continued on page 54 Expectations for the future loss prevention team may include more employees with loss prevention as part of their job description, while their overall role may include many additional responsibilities. By the same respect, it is the responsibility of every retail leader to remain keenly aware of those issues that have the greatest impact on the business. Read the full report at nrf.com/resources/retail-library/2017-organized-retail-crime-survey. A Security Lawsuit Is a Legal Landmine By Garett Seivold Nine seconds after three armed men entered a convenience store in Rochester, NY, one of them shot security guard Brian Brown in the face. "Thirty-six pellets went into my eye; the rest went into my head," he told local WHAM 13 News. "They're still in there." Naturally, a lawsuit against the store's parent company followed. Can you guess the outcome of this security lawsuit based on facts and circumstances? Verdict Search, an ALM Media company, described several salient issues the jury had to consider in this case. First, the jury heard plaintiff attorneys argue why the store should be held liable for inadequate security: ■ In the ten years before Brown was shot, six shootings and 126 robberies had occurred at the store and other area stores. ■ The store's cash wasn't regularly removed to a bank and accumulated in the store's safe. ■ Store employees could open the safe, rather than using a drop safe that could only be opened by armed security personnel during cash pickups. ■ The parking lot was too dark. Next, the jury heard the retail store's argument for why it was not responsible for the security guard's injuries: ■ The store had retail security procedures that were more stringent than those of other convenience stores in the area. ■ Cash pickups were arranged so that the store's employees would not have to risk leaving the premises with large amounts of cash. ■ The store's parking lot was well lighted. Because it provided this level of security, the guard's assailant was entirely liable for the shooting and Brown's injuries, according to the store's defense attorneys. So what do you think? There was certainly some he-said/she-said in the case with respect to perspectives on the parking lot lighting. However, keeping too much cash on hand is a well-established contributor to store robberies. Does it sound like the store was found liable for the guard's injuries? If so, what do you guess was the amount of the damage award? The verdict: the jury said the facts of the case suggested that the store negligently failed to provide adequate security and that it should pay Brown roughly $1.2 million (Brian Brown v. Wilson Farms Inc., et al., Monroe NY Supreme Court, 2012). A store robbery is a tragic event, but it typically involves relatively small monetary losses. The average loss in a convenience store robbery was $699 in 2014, for example. Some crime prevention analysts think it is possible that retailers can lose sight of their significance because of the small dollar amounts involved. However, unlike other crimes that may have a greater impact on the bottom line, robbery puts employees in physical danger, which requires management to move it ahead of others on the risk scale. In addition to the potential of a million-dollar judgment, there are other reasons robbery prevention makes fiscal sense. Medical payment, when crime is the cause of a worker's injury, averages nearly $14,000. Only burns and motor vehicle accidents result in higher medical payouts, according to the National Council on Compensation Insurance. Including lost work time, legal expenses, and other costs, some industry estimates are that the average cost to employers of a single episode of workplace violence can cost between $25,000 and $250,000. Curtailing available cash is critical in high-risk locations, according to legal experts. During evening and late-night hours of operation, cash levels should be kept to a minimal amount per cash register to conduct business. Transactions with large bills over $20 Product Showcase WATCHING OVER YOU SINCE 1873 • Underwriters Laboratories Listed • Factory Mutual Approved • SIA Certified Operators At AFA, we deliver superior levels of customer service. If you don't believe us, ask our customers! 8 6 6 . 2 3 2 . 6 2 8 5 www.afap.com 53 LP MAGAZINE | JANUARY–FEBRUARY 2018

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