Brad Shipp was good enough to bring this to my attention. Thanks.
Hotel clerk working behind desk was about to be attached, pushed the panic button, and no one came to her assistance. The button was broken and apparently the alarm company knew about the broken panic button for weeks. The clerk was severely injured. During the trial the alarm company, Vanwell Electronics, settled for $2.5 million. The article reporting the settlement does not indicate if the alarm company had insurance coverage, which I presume it did based on the size of the settlement.
According to the story the alarm company knew about the broken button for 16 weeks. The case had been dismissed against the monitoring company, Criticom Monitoring Services, obviously because it had no obligation to repair panic buttons and no signal reached its central station.
The story doesn't go into any detail about what obligation the alarm company had, only that it "installed and maintained the hotel's security system".
Perhaps someone in the know will give us more detail. We don't know what kind of contract this alarm company had - not mine I am sure - because the word maintenance cannot be found in any of my contracts. There would have had to be some compelling evidence of the alarm company's knowledge of the unconnected panic button and its obligation to "maintain" that part as well as the entire system.
It would be interesting to know if the alarm company's insurance carrier, if there is one, drops the alarm company.
Use proper contracts, careful what obligations you commit yourself to, and remember you are in the life / safety protection business, so conduct yourself and your business with that in mind.