Alarm Firm Sued over Slow Response in Mansion Break-in

LOS ANGELES -- A Hollywood power couple is suing a home security company for allegedly mishandling a burglary at their Bel-Air home last year.

Sherry Lansing, former chief of Paramount Pictures, and husband William Friedkin, the Oscar-winning director of "The French Connection," filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

The couple claim Boca Raton, Florida-based ADT Security Services Inc. was slow to respond to an alarm signaling a break-in at their home Dec. 29.

Robbers stole "unique and irreplaceable" jewelry that had "significant amounts of value," the lawsuit said.

Over the last several years, burglars have targeted homes in the city's wealthiest neighborhoods and have gotten away with millions of dollars worth of jewelry, cash and artwork.

Friedkin, 68, and Lansing, 63, paid about $25,000 to have ADT install security equipment after a company salesman assured them that ADT has employees constantly patrolling the neighborhood and would immediately respond to alarms, the lawsuit said.

When the couple went on vacation overseas, their alarm was triggered but it took nearly two hours before a patrolman arrived at their home, the lawsuit said. They claim the patrolman did not thoroughly inspect their property and ADT did not contact them about the break-in, and they learned about it the next day from their housekeeper, who called police.

"Robbers intentionally targeted ADT homes in the Bel-Air area because of ADT's deficient home security services and response times," the lawsuit said.

A call to an ADT spokeswoman was not immediately returned Thursday.

The lawsuit claims fraudulent misrepresentation, gross negligence and seeks punitive and compensatory damages. The couple also want to cancel their contract with ADT.

Friedkin won an Oscar for 1971's "The French Connection." He received an Oscar nomination for "The Exorcist."


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