Murder victimís family settles with ADT

This is a discussion on Murder victimís family settles with ADT within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Murder victimís family settles with ADT| More by: Tess Nacelewicz. - 10/04/2011 ...ADT recently settled a lawsuit regarding a Minnesota woman murdered in her bed ...

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    VIP Member Array HKinNY's Avatar
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    Murder victimís family settles with ADT

    Murder victimís family settles with ADT| More by: Tess Nacelewicz. - 10/04/2011
    ...ADT recently settled a lawsuit regarding a Minnesota woman murdered in her bed in 2006 after her security alarm failed to go off, and the case carries implications for the security alarm industry, according to a newspaper account of the case.

    Hereís more from a Minneapolis Star Tribune story earlier this week:


    ďFour children who survived a middle-of-the-night double murder in Washington County five years ago will receive a financial settlement that will provide for them for life after a bruising lawsuit over a failed home intrusion alarm.
    The case involving the estate of Teri Lee, shot dead in her bed in West Lakeland Township in 2006, could hold implications for homeowners trusting intrusion alarms to protect them and for alarm companies relying on contract language to insulate them from liability.
    Just how much money ADT Security Services Inc. will pay the family to care for Lee's four children remains sealed in federal court under the confidential agreement reached Friday. But [an attorney for the family], Bill Harper of Woodbury, said the amount was "substantial" and will provide for the children for the rest of their lives.
    Inquiries to ADT seeking comment Saturday were unreturned. The large national company, which has headquarters in Florida, never admitted in court filings any responsibility for the shooting deaths of Lee, 38, and her boyfriend, Timothy Hawkinson, 47.
    The two were killed in a second-floor bedroom on Sept. 22, 2006, just weeks after Lee spent $2,405 on an intrusion alarm system to protect herself against the man who would murder them both.
    But when Steven Van Keuren, a jealous and disturbed former boyfriend who had violated several court orders that prohibited him from contacting Lee, cut the phone lines outside her house in the early morning darkness, nothing happened. When he shattered a glass patio door with a crowbar, a sensor failed to sound.
    Van Keuren crept up the stairs to Lee's bedroom with a handgun, but two new motion detectors didn't respond. The screeching alarm finally activated when Lee's two daughters opened the front door to escape -- after their mother and Hawkinson were dead.
    Hawkinson's family reached an undisclosed settlement with ADT years ago, Harper said.
    ADT initiated legal action soon after Lee's death to argue that a clause in the contract she had signed declared the company's maximum liability at $500. That led to a volley of legal briefs that Harper said filled 10 filing cabinets.
    In the broader picture, Harper said, the case creates a legal precedent in Minnesota in that an alarm company's attempt to limit liability in fine print isn't absolute. Such a warning wouldn't cover a "known peril" such as Van Keuren when a homeowner installs alarms to protect against a specific threat, he said.Ē
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    VIP Member Array JoJoGunn's Avatar
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    "ADT, Always There"

    Apparently not.
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    Member Array nightsonge's Avatar
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    ADT is worthless, I work in a C-store which USED to use ADT as their security company. Then one night the second shift clerk got robbed, hit the alarm, thug leaves, calls police on his cell, then manager, then supervisor, police show up. Then 25 minutes after the robbery the store phone rings. "This is ADT Security, we're showing your alarm has been activated, is everything ok ?"
    Clerk tells them no, he was just robbed, the police are on the scene and his manager and supervisor have both been called. ADT then calls both his manager and supervisor TWICE each and tries to tell them it's a false alarm. Needless to say, we no longer use ADT.
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    I have broadview which is now owned by ADT, I have had nothing but good experiences with them. However I trust my 1911 and my FNX 9mm both at bedside before I would an alarm system in a life or death situation. The times that my alarm has gone off, albeit my own fault or one of my wife's cats they have been quick to respond and I must say the police that did respond had the dirtiest shoes possible and tracked all sorts of mud all over my house.
    I don't carry a gun because I'm angry.
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    My alarm system is good doors, good windows, big dog, and other measures if it gets real bad.
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    Just remember. "When seconds count, ADT is out on a coffee break!"
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    Alarm? What alarm?

    My alarms consist of 80 pounds of GSD and 90 pounds of Labrador. Once they activate, there ar Winchester Ranger SXT rounds ready to respond rapidly if necessary. Beats ADT hands down!

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    Distinguished Member Array bigmacque's Avatar
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    I heard this story about ADT, and have not trusted them since: We had a small surge of robberies in and around our neighborhood, and they were supposedly tied back to an ADT contractor that had been canvassing the neighborhood trying to sell alarm systems. This particular contractor had a few lines in his presentation designed to put the homeowner/prospective client on edge and on the defensive, and one homeowner took exception to what the guy had said and chased him off his property.

    The idiot was caught when suddenly there were six home robberies in 17 days, and the same guy shows up at the doorstep of the place he had been run off from and told the previously ticked off homeowner, "see, you need a system. Look at all these robberies in your neighborhood." The homeowner got suspicious, called LE and they took the ball and ran with it. The contractor ended up admitting to having run this scam in several different neighborhoods, and when LE got that info they were able to verify that he had indeed set up some homeowners.

    No ADT for me.
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    The best possible alarm is a dog IMHO. Ours is a 50 lb Goldendoodle thats certainly not an attack dog, and very sweet overall... but he will go "nuts" barking in the middle of the night if he hears something strange. He's only done this a couple times, but being a light sleeper, each time I've heard a bark I had my 9mm PX4 home defense gun in hand within 10 seconds -- long before any BG could make it to my location. We live up in the mountains, so sometimes he'll hear Elk, Deer or a Fox out in the yard. I'm certain he'd bark at the human animals too. :) I don't need him to attack anyone (although he sounds bigger than he is), I'll take care of that.

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    Member Array dgraing's Avatar
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    Don't let this sound like a defense of ADT but...

    The failure here sounds like it was equipment failure, not ADT's (shoddy?) monitoring services. All the major companies use the same equipment and this could have happened with any of them. Alarm systems should be just one piece of your overall security plan.

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    ADT had installed the equipment when the woman got a restraining order against her psycho ex, & the installers didn't set it up properly & didn't instruct her & her family on the proper at-home settings.

    I've been following this story since it broke & from all that I've read, I wouldn't deign to urinate on an ADT sign much less subscribe to their services.
    "Historical examination of the right to bear arms, from English antecedents to the drafting of the Second Amendment, bears proof that the right to bear arms has consistently been, and should still be, construed as an individual right." -- U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings, Re: U.S. vs Emerson (1999)

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    Distinguished Member Array bigmacque's Avatar
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    Don't let this sound like a defense of ADT either, because I really don't like them, but very often the installers are not ADT employees but rather contractors that install on behalf of ADT.

    That being said, it's ADT's job to properly vette their contractors, and to the home owner it makes no difference -- they bought from ADT and as far as they're concerned it was ADT that installed it.
    I'm in favor of gun control -- I think every citizen should have control of a gun.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgraing View Post
    Don't let this sound like a defense of ADT but...

    The failure here sounds like it was equipment failure, not ADT's (shoddy?) monitoring services. All the major companies use the same equipment and this could have happened with any of them. Alarm systems should be just one piece of your overall security plan.
    No it doesn't sound like equipment failure. Too many things went wrong. I can see 1 component failing, but not multiple components at the same time. It sounds more like shoddy installation. Whether it was done by ADT installers, or contractors doesn't matter. ADT is responsible for the services they provide, and the installation is one of those services.
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    Distinguished Member Array mr.stuart's Avatar
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    I wonder if she had the motion detectors armed? As far as cutting the phone lines,there is an extra feature that uses cell towers if the phone lines are cut,but this is an extra fee. I like our alarm system but my wife and I,two Boxers and another large creature are our primary defense. No electronics are fool-proof.
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    When you rely on someone else to protect you, you get what you pay for. When you rely totally on technology that can fail, plan on it.

    A dog typically doesn't.
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