Alarm company held responsible for teller's death

SSN Staff  - 
Friday, March 1, 2002

TAVARES, Fla.-A jury in Lake Circuit Court ruled in February that a Tampa alarm company is partially responsible for flaws in security that led to a death of a teller and the paralysis of another during a 1999 bank robbery in Mount Dora.

Foreline Security was responsible because there were no panic buttons at the teller stations, argued a lawyer for the teller who was paralyzed in the incident, according to a report by The Associated Press. Attorneys for Foreline countered that it was the bank's fault, but the jury bought both arguments and assigned partial blame to each.

The design of the security system itself was also called into question.

Lawyers for the paralyzed teller, Marishia Scott, said that the robber had picked that particular branch, located in a shopping center, because the VCR connected to the CCTV system was visible. That led the killer, Fred Anderson, to believe he could kill the tellers, steal the money and take the tape from the VCR to get away with the crime, they said.

Because the bank, United Southern, was not named in the suit, the splitting of the responsibility for the injuries limits the amount the security company will have to pay.

Scott did not seek punitive damages in the case, but only the cost of current and future medical care and partial compensation for lost wages and pain and suffering.