I keep hearing that companies can be sued when an incident occurs and is not
captured on an installed CCTV system?  I have heard that the use of dummy
cameras or a system that is either not working properly, not recording
(properly) or has cameras that are not sufficient to view all areas would
expose the system owner to a potential suit.
I understand that anybody can sue anybody for anything.  However, I am
interested in your opinion as to the validity of such a suit?
Steve Stettner
Davco Security Systems, Inc.

      The best answer is that the risk of liability is directly related to the
contract with the subscriber.  There are two issues raised in the question.
First, dummy cameras.
       If dummy cameras are to be installed obviously that needs to be
specified in the contract.  There should be some elaboration as well since you
want it to be clear that the system is designed for limited purposes and that
anyone who would normally be expected to rely on the security of the cameras
are made aware of the limited nature of the service (i.e., dummy cameras).
       Cameras that are not working are a different matter.  Hopefully you have
not agreed to "maintain" the equipment.  You can agree to "service" the
equipment if notified by the subscriber that its not working.  Even if you are
negligent in servicing the failure of the surveillance will not be the cause of
any loss, though it will be claimed that the extent of the loss, whether it be
property damage, theft or personal injury or death, was contributed to by the
lack of surveillance.  You are likely to be sued and your exposure will be
minimized by a proper contract.  See for proper