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Cascante v. 50 State Security Service, Inc.

Florida Court of Appeals, Third District

December 26, 2019

Nancy Cascante and Sean Hutchins, Appellants,
v.
50 State Security Service, Inc., etc., et al., Appellees.

         Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.

          An appeal from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Lower Tribunal No. 16-5176 John Schlesinger, Judge.

          Hunter & Lynch, P.A., and Christopher J. Lynch; Downs Law Group, and C. David Durkee, for appellants.

          Kubicki Draper, P.A., Caryn L. Bellus, and Barbara E. Fox, for appellee 50 State Security Service, Inc.

          Before FERNANDEZ, MILLER, and GORDO, JJ.

          MILLER, J.

         Appellants, Nancy Cascante and Sean Hutchins, challenge a final summary judgment rendered in favor of appellee, 50 State Security Service, Inc. ("50 State"), in their negligent security action.[1] 50 State was contractually obligated to furnish a crime analyst and security services at a parking garage owned by Miami-Dade County (the "County"). Under the terms of the contract, the County retained unilateral control over both the shift schedule and number of guards assigned to the premises. Cascante was attacked and injured in the parking garage during the early evening hours. At the time of the attack, there was no security guard on duty in the garage. Accordingly, the lower tribunal determined that 50 State did not assume the County's legal duty to protect Cascante. For the reasons explicated below, we discern no error and affirm.

         FACTS AND BACKGROUND

         On June 27, 2008, the County extended a Public Invitation to Bid (the "Bid"), seeking "to establish a contract for the purchase of security guard services in conjunction with the needs of the Miami-Dade Transit." The types of services required were: "(1) armed security; (2) unarmed security; and (3) security management and supervision." Although the vendor was required to provide security personnel, under the Bid, the County was solely charged with determining "the number of security officers, the shift schedule, and level of training required."

         The bidder was specifically required to furnish a crime analyst. The tasks and responsibilities of the analyst were as follows:

The vendor shall provide a full time Crime Analyst to compile criminal statistics to an electronic database and analyze crime trends for all modes of [Miami-Dade] transit. Specifically, this individual is responsible for monthly generation of crime statistics reports and the reporting of crime trends to management in a timely manner to effect proactive prevention of criminal activity. This individual is also responsible for generating other MDT reports such as MDT bus incident reports and MDT Maintenance Repair Reports.

         The analyst was further charged with identifying "evolving and existing crime patterns and series," forecasting "future crime trends," and providing "data to support departmental planning activities."

         In the third addendum to the Bid (the "Addendum"), the County specified that minimum coverage for the South Miami Metrorail parking lot would be a single armed security guard assigned to work from seven o'clock in the morning until seven o'clock in the evening, seven days per week. 50 State was the winning bidder, hence, the terms of the Bid morphed into the contract, which has become the focal point of this litigation.

         On May 29, 2014, at approximately eight o'clock p.m., Cascante was violently assaulted by two men in the South Miami Metrorail Station parking garage. No roving security guard was on duty, as the shift of the last watchman ended at seven o'clock that evening. Vigorous efforts by the assailants to force Cascante into her own vehicle were ...


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