Many people don’t think about protecting their business and professional assets from lawsuits until after a lawsuit is filed. Most Americans are unaware of the many incidents that could result in a lawsuit against you or your business. If you have available and reachable assets, it is not a matter of whether you will be sued, but when. The following are a few examples of potential lawsuits.

Premises Liability

Premises liability law is a collection of laws, which makes the owner of land and property responsible for injuries suffered by persons on the owner’s land or property. If someone was to slip and fall and sustain an injury at your home, office, or any other property you own, you could be sued and held liable for damages.

One of our speakers was once discussing premises liability and asked if anyone had heard the term, “attractive nuisance.” A man from the audience answered, “My ex-wife.” In reality, “attractive nuisance” is a legal term used to describe any potentially dangerous item on your property, such as a trampoline, swing set, or even a tree that could be climbed. If someone were to come on your property (even a trespasser) and sustain injury on your trampoline or fall from one of your trees, you as the property owner would be held liable.

Last year, premises liability cases produced a mean award of $2,001,754—and an award of $2.5 million or more was just as likely as an award of $50,000-$99,999.

Examples of Premises Liability Lawsuits

  • A water park was held liable for $1.1 million when a man slipped on wet steps at the park.
  • Franco DeMeglio was held liable for $850,000 when a trespasser on his property was bitten by his dog.
  • A ranch owner had a judgment awarded against him for $20 million after a ranch employee, while hunting on the property, accidentally shot and killed a trespasser.

Car Accident

If you are in a car accident, you could be held liable for millions of dollars. If you are an employer and one of your employees gets in an accident while running to the post office or picking up lunch for the office, you as the business owner will be held liable. Last year, the average award in a motor vehicle case was just under $1 million.

Examples of Motor Vehicle Lawsuits

  • A jury awarded Patricia Marcoux $4.2 million and Kia Smack $6.6 million for injuries sustained in car accidents.
  • The family of Michael Mazurek was awarded $13 million from a company whose employee hit Michael while he was riding a bicycle.
  • An employer was held liable for $55 million for injuries caused to Jerry Stanton during a car accident. On appeal, the award was upheld as non-excessive, in spite of the fact that prior to this case all similar injuries had resulted in jury awards of between $3 and $7 million.
An employer was held liable for $55 million for injuries caused to Jerry Stanton during a car accident. On appeal, the award was upheld as non-excessive, in spite of the fact that prior to this case all similar injuries had resulted in jury awards of between $3 and $7 million.

Insufficient Security

Trial attorneys have successfully lobbied for laws imposing a duty on property owners to provide security so that if anything happens on the property, they can hold the owner liable due to insufficient security.

Examples of Insufficient Security Lawsuits

  • A grocery store owner was held liable for the wrongful death of a seventy-nine-year-old woman abducted from his parking lot. Even though no crime of this sort had ever occurred in the area, the Supreme Court of New Jersey held the store owner liable, stating that the store owner should have had security patrolling the parking lot. Last year, the average wrongful death award was $11,804,650.
  • The wife and estate of a man who was shot and killed in front of a movie house were awarded $6.6 million, claiming insufficient security at the mall where the theater was located.

Product Liability

If you produce or sell a product, you could potentially be held liable for damages caused by the product.

Examples of Product Liability Lawsuits

  • A restaurant was held liable for $4 million for a bloody bandage that accidentally fell into the food of fourteen-year old Anastasia Roberts.
  • A business owner was deemed responsible for $8.6 million when his product injured a school child.

Employee Liability

If you have employees, you could be sued for wrongful termination, workplace accidents, negligent entrustment, gender bias, racial bias, sexual orientation bias, religious bias, sexual harassment, and racial harassment.

Examples of Employee Related Lawsuits

  • A hotel was held responsible for a $4.1 million judgment for wrongful termination.
  • A former employee was awarded $2.2 million for her claim that the vice president in charge of the office gave females fewer accounts, offered them lower starting salaries and was less likely to promote them.
  • A business was ordered to pay $86.7 million to an employee paralyzed from a fall at work.
  • A church was hit with a $1.2 million verdict for negligent mowing when an employee accidently cut off his son’s foot while mowing the church’s grass.
  • A company was still held liable for over $1 million for racial jokes told by employees in front of one of their African American workers, even though the company had written policy and training to prevent racial harassment. Even though there was testimony that the plaintiff laughed along with the rest of the employees and, at times, even gave some racial retorts, the company was still held liable for racial harassment.

Violations of Americans with Disabilities Act

Complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act can cost a business hundreds of thousands of dollars, and lawsuits for violations can cost millions.

Landlord Liability

If you have a rental property, you have numerous potential liabilities—premises liability, mold contamination, negligent security, etc.

Example of Landlord Liability Lawsuits

The parents of a two-year-old boy who sustained second- and third-degree burns after coming into contact with the radiator in their apartment settled with the landlord for $1.3 million.

Medical Malpractice

Many malpractice judgments are exceeding doctors’ liability insurance coverage. Last year, 64% of medical malpractice verdicts exceeded $1 million, and 23% exceeded $5 million, with the average medical malpractice award being $5,051,428.


For most professionals, it is not a matter of whether you will get sued, but when you will get sued. Statistically, the odds of avoiding a lawsuit over the span of your career are very small. It is estimated that a lawsuit is filed every thirty seconds in the US. Not protecting your assets against lawsuits would be like living in an earthquake, hurricane, or flood zone and not purchasing the necessary insurance to protect your home. You can’t wait until the natural disaster hits and then buy insurance. Likewise, once a lawsuit hits, it is too late to set up the legal structures. You need to get them in place before the disaster hits. Once a lawsuit is filed against you, the transfer of assets to family limited partnerships (FLPs) or LLCs may be interpreted as “fraudulent conveyance” and can be unwound. Therefore, it is essential to get the legal structures in place before you are sued.

Now is the time to ensure that your assets are safe and secure. The American Society for Asset protection can help you structure your business and personal asset to protect them against lawsuits. The tragic loss of assets in a lawsuit can be avoided if your assets are structured properly. Once your assets are structured properly, you will have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your personal and business assets are safe from lawsuits.