Security Business

MAR 2019

Find news and information for the executive corporate security director, CSO, facility manager and assets protection manager on issues of policy, products, incidents, risk management, threat assessments and preparedness.

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March 2019 / www.SecurityInfoWatch.com / Security Business 23 ACCESS CONTROL INTRUSION DETECTION VIDEO MANAGEMENT Ready for any challenge All needs, all sectors, all sizes, all in. ACT365 Cloud-based Access Control ISC West April 10-12 Booth #26089 Vanderbilt Industries @VanderbiltInd vanderbiltindustries.com Request information: www.SecurityInfoWatch.com/11514790 contract? How about the Security ABC contract? If she disavows either con- tract, can either company charge her early termination fees for such can- cellation? Does Security ABC have a claim against Security 123? Was a crime committed? The Legal Ramifications Mrs. Smith could be bound to both companies, but likely not. Under the facts presented, Security 123 procured Mrs. Smith's signature on its contract through fraud; therefore, there is like- lihood that a court would void the Security 123 contract. Additionally, Mrs. Smith may have a claim against Security 123 for treble damages and attorneys' fees under a state consumer fraud or deceptive sales practices statute. She also may be able to refer Security 123 to the state attor- ney general's office for possible civil claims or criminal prosecution. Mrs. Smith's original security com- pany, Security ABC, also may have a claim against Security 123 for tortious interference with contract, customer the, unfair competition, defamation and possibly other claims. Of course, any damages for such a claim would be mitigated (or maybe even mooted) if Mrs. Smith returns as a customer to Security ABC and pays all due mon- itoring fees. If Mrs. Smith does not return as a customer to Security ABC, then Security ABC surely would have a case against Security 123. Security ABC also arguably has a case against Mrs. Smith for breach of contract, collection of early termi- nation fees, and/or the balance due under the contract; however, pursuing such claims against Mrs. Smith under these circumstances may not be worth the effort and also may yield negative publicity for the company. So, Security ABC's legal strategy must be reconciled with the practical implications of brin- ing claims against its own customer. Dishonest sales practices hurt the customer, hurt the alarm companies and hurt the industry. Local and state government officials, the Federal Trade Commission, industry groups and security companies themselves should play an active role in educating customers and helping people like Mrs. Smith avoid falling victim to these types of scams. ■ » Timothy J. Pastore, Esq., is a Partner in the New York law firm of Duval & Stachenfeld LLP (www.dsllp. com). Before entering private practice, Mr. Pastore was an officer and Judge Advocate General (JAG) in the U.S. Air Force and a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice. Reach him at (212) 692-5982 or by e-mail at tpastore@dsllp.com.

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