The owners of a Cook Out restaurant on SE Moreland Ave may face a negligent security lawsuit after a customer was gravely wounded in a shooting there.
Gunfire in Atlanta Cook Out restaurant's drive-thru resulted in customer Shawn Brotherton being seriously wounded after being shot eight times while in his car.
The assailant had reportedly made a threatening call earlier that day, expressing intentions to harm himself and others. Preliminary reports indicate a man approached a vehicle in the Cook Out drive-thru and fired multiple times. The alleged shooter was found in the back of the restaurant and arrested by police.
Brotherton, who was hit in his upper left arm and torso, is hospitalized in stable condition. He has undergone two surgeries with more expected due to the extensive damage to his arm.
The family notes that Brotherton did not know his assailant. Brotherton's family is urging legislators to implement measures to prevent potential attackers from accessing weapons.
"Something has got to change. Whoever sees this: Please, we need to think about what we're doing when it comes to gun control," the victim’s father Lindy Brotherton said. "There's got to be some type of common sense law where we can … we have to work together to meet in the middle. This is not going to get any better. This is going to just continue to downward spiral and get worse and worse and worse."
In Georgia, property and business owners, including establishments like the Cook Out restaurant, must make sure their property is safe if there have been crimes in the area. This could include asking customers for identification, keeping criminals at bay, using visible security cameras, having security guards on site, and making sure the area is well-lit. According to studies, these measures can reduce violent crime in and around businesses.
In January of this year, an employee of the Cook Out was stabbed twice by a fellow employee, one of the stab wounds punctured her intestines.
Online reviews also indicate a lack of safety for customers at the restaurant. One customer wrote, “We stopped at night with the kids and there were so many homeless folks coming in and out that we didn't feel safe. Never returning to this location.”
In Georgia, property and business owners are obligated to ensure their premises are safe from foreseeable crimes. If they neglect this duty, criminal activities can persist.
While police can arrest criminals, they cannot compel property owners to implement crime prevention measures or compensate victims' families. Only survivors of violent crimes or their families can legally challenge property owners.
Winning a civil lawsuit can cover expenses like medical bills and lost wages, aiding in the healing process, though it can't fully compensate for the trauma of violent crime. It’s also important to note that usually owners only take preventive actions after facing substantial legal penalties.
Together we can Make Atlanta Safe, one community at a time.
Only the survivors of violent crimes or the families of victims can use the civil court system to hold property owners and managers accountable when they fail to take reasonable precautions to protect tenants and guests from known threats. By holding them accountable, we can motivate property owners to make meaningful changes to prevent violent crime from happening to others. In that way, together, we can help Make Atlanta Safe.
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