In this case, the claimant was shot while sitting in a car at a Wendy’s Drive Thru.  He sued Wendy’s for damages, alleging that a criminal attack was reasonably foreseeable to Wendy’s and that its failure to adequately secure the property was negligent. 

The claimant was shot by two unidentified assailants. Video surveillance showed a rapid “military styled” attack. 

The court said:

“Wendy’s is a quick-service restaurant—it is not a bar or full-service restaurant that serves alcohol. The dining room was closed when the shooting occurred—customers were waiting in their cars in the drive-through. Moreover, there was no altercation between Scott and the gunmen leading up to the shooting. Under these circumstances, Wendy’s could not have reasonably anticipated the shooting to be a “natural and probable cause” of its failure to have armed guards posted outside.”

The court held that even if Wendy’s decision not to engage overnight security guards was negligent, no reasonable jury could find the breach to be the proximate cause of the claimant’s injuries.  The shooting constituted an intervening criminal act that was not reasonably foreseeable, the causal chain was broken, and Wendy’s was not liable for the claimant’s injuries. 

Knowledge about the risks in a dining room during late night hours did not mean that Wendy’s should have reasonably foreseen a shooting outside, after the dining room was closed. 

On the same facts, the outcome would likely be no different in South African law.