The Kansas City Star recently
published a story about “ugly” gas stations hurting neighborhoods. The article discusses how gas stations whose owners fail to maintain
them in decent condition are causing problems for neighborhoods, including
decreased property values and increased crime. The author suggests a number
of solutions, including enlisting the help of neighborhood associations
and reporting the gas stations to code enforcement.
Hurt at a Gas Station? Send a Message With a Lawsuit
The author overlooks another deterrent: a civil suit for damages. When
a gas station has a crime problem that it knows or should know about and
one of its customers gets hurt because of a crime, then the gas station
is responsible for the damages. It must fully and fairly compensate the
victim for any damages from their injuries.
Lawsuits Give Voice to the People
Although the primary purpose for civil suits for damages is to compensate
the injured person, another very important purpose is deterrence. Civil
suits are ultimately decided by a jury, and juries are meant to be the
voice of the community. So, if you sue a gas station for compensation
for an injury from a crime, the jury will ultimately decide what is or
is not acceptable for a gas station. By holding gas stations accountable
for injuries from crime problems, a jury is sending the message that in
this community, we expect a gas station do something to prevent crime.
Gas stations are for-profit corporations. The language of corporate America
is money. If you want to send a message to a corporation, you have to
speak their language. If you truly want a gas station to listen to your
message to fix its crime problem, you have to threaten their income with
a civil suit for damages.
Take Action if You Are Injured at a Gas Station
If you or someone you know has been a victim of crime or injured due to
unsafe conditions at a gas station, contact our firm at (816) 221-7555
for a free consultation and to learn how you can send a message to gas
station owners. Beyond sending a message, we may be able to help get compensation
for the harm.