Articles Posted in Premises Liability

Slip and fall accidents are one of the most common causes of personal injury. Parties who sustain injuries in falls can seek damages from the owner of the property where the fall occurred. Proving liability can be challenging, though, depending on what triggered the fall. In a recent Florida opinion in which the court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant, the court discussed what evidence a plaintiff must produce to prove liability for a slip and fall accident that was caused by transient substances. If you were hurt in a fall in a store, you should contact a Florida premises liability attorney to assess your options for seeking compensation.

The Plaintiff’s Fall

It is alleged that the plaintiff was walking through an aisle at the defendant store when she slipped and fell. After she got up, she observed an orange liquid on the floor. She sustained injuries in the fall and subsequently filed a premises liability lawsuit against the defendant. During her deposition, the plaintiff testified that she did not know how long the liquid had been on the floor or how it arrived there. Further, she stated it was free from any tracks other than those caused by her shoe, and she did not see any dirt marks.

People who suffer harm in slip and fall accidents that occur in grocery stores have the right to seek damages from the party that owns the store. Generally, though, proof that a dangerous condition caused a person to fall, in and of itself, is insufficient to warrant the imposition of liability. Instead, a plaintiff in a premises liability case must demonstrate that the defendant knew or should have known that the condition existed prior to the fall. The evidence a plaintiff must produce in a slip and fall case was the topic of an opinion recently issued by a Florida court, in a case in which it ultimately dismissed the plaintiff’s claims. If you were hurt in a fall, you could be owed compensation, and it is smart to seek the counsel of a practiced Florida premises liability lawyer to evaluate what claims you might be able to pursue.

The Plaintiff’s Fall

Allegedly, the plaintiff was shopping in the defendant’s grocery store when she slipped and fell on a transient substance. During her deposition, she testified that she did not see the substance before she fell and did not know how the liquid got on the floor or how long it had been there. She also did not know whether any store employee knew of the substance prior to her fall. She did not know where the substance came from but speculated it might be from a grape.

It is reported that the defendant moved to have the plaintiff’s claims dismissed via summary judgment on the grounds that she failed to show that the defendant knew or reasonably should have known of the presence of the liquid prior to her fall. After considering the evidence produced by both parties, the court granted the motion. Continue reading ›

Slip and fall accidents frequently happen in retail stores, and in most instances, there is little, if any, evidence of the condition that caused the fall. If the injured party reports the incident to people working at the store, though, the manager will often take pictures of the area where the fall occurred. Stores might not maintain such photos, however, and if they do not, it may result in an adverse inference against them at trial due to the spoliation of evidence. In a recent ruling, a Florida court discussed the proof needed to demonstrate a defendant’s actions warrant an adverse inference in a slip and fall case. If you fell in a retail store, you could be owed damages, and you should confer with a skillful Florida premises liability lawyer regarding your potential claims.

The Plaintiff’s Fall

It is alleged that the plaintiff fell while shopping at a store owned by the defendant. The day of the fall, the defendant’s store manager called the defendant’s insurance company to report a claim, and during the conversation, stated that he took photographs of the area where the fall reportedly happened. Shortly after the accident, the plaintiff’s attorney sent two letters to the defendant asking it to preserve any surveillance videos that depicted the fall.

Reportedly, the plaintiff filed a premises liability lawsuit against the defendant, asserting negligence claims. In response to the plaintiff’s discovery requests, the defendant stated it did not have any photographs of the fall. The plaintiff deposed the store manager, who stated that he could not recall if he took pictures of the area. Pursuant to the plaintiff’s motion, the court ordered the defendant to produce the photographs. The plaintiff then filed a motion for sanctions, requesting an adverse inference against the defendant for the failure to preserve the photographs, pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Continue reading ›

In premises liability cases, the defendant will often argue that the plaintiff sustained injuries outside of the subject property and will often seek discovery to that effect. If a plaintiff fails to comply with discovery requests and provide the defendant with the information sought, it may result in adverse consequences. It is unlikely to constitute grounds for dismissal based on fraudulent behavior, however, as demonstrated in a recent Florida ruling. If you were hurt by a dangerous condition you encountered on someone else’s property, you could be owed damages and should speak to a trusted Florida premises liability lawyer regarding your potential claims.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is reported that the plaintiff visited the defendant’s restaurant in September 2015. While she was there, she went to the bathroom, and as she was washing her hands, the sink fell from the wall and struck her in her arm. She was unable to finish her meal due to the pain in her arm and went to the emergency room, where she was diagnosed with a contusion. She then filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging its negligence led to her injuries.

Allegedly, the defendant engaged in the discovery, including deposing the plaintiff and requesting documents, but believed that she was not fully disclosing other accidents and her treatment for prior injuries. The defendant then moved to have the plaintiff’s claims dismissed for fraud, or alternatively for sanctions. Continue reading ›

Spills are common in warehouse stores that sell a variety of goods, including food. Unfortunately, in many instances, spills lead to slip and fall accidents. In some cases, a person hurt in a fall may be able to recover damages from the store owner for the harm suffered. Generally, however, a plaintiff must prove that a defendant property owner had actual or constructive notice of a dangerous condition to demonstrate liability. A plaintiff’s burden of proof in a slip and fall case was the topic of a recent Florida opinion, in a matter in which the defendant’s motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims was granted. If you were hurt in a slip and fall accident, it is in your best interest to speak to a dedicated Florida premises liability lawyer to determine your rights.

The Plaintiff’s Harm

It is reported that the plaintiff was shopping in the defendant’s store when she slipped and fell on water that was near a bay of freezers. She admitted that she did not see the water prior to the fall and did not know how long it had been on the floor. She subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging it was negligent for allowing the dangerous condition that led to her fall to exist. After discovery was completed, the defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing the plaintiff could not prove that it knew or should have known that the water was on the floor prior to her fall. Upon review, the court agreed and dismissed the plaintiff’s claims.

Proving Fault for a Slip and Fall Accident

Under Florida law, a plaintiff asserting a negligence claim must prove that the defendant had a legal duty to protect the plaintiff from certain harm, the defendant breached the duty, and the plaintiff suffered injuries that were actually and proximately caused by the breach. Further, a plaintiff alleging negligence based on a transitory substance in a business must also demonstrate that the defendant had constructive or actual knowledge of the dangerous condition and should have taken measures to remedy it. Continue reading ›

Many people board cruises in Florida with the expectation that they will enjoy relaxing vacations. Unfortunately, some cruise vacations are ruined by slip and fall accidents. Generally, people injured on cruise ships can pursue damages from the company that owns and operates the vessels, but they typically must prove negligence to recover damages. In some cases, a plaintiff will retain an expert to offer testimony supporting the assertion that the defendant breached the standard of care. As discussed in a recent Florida ruling, though, the expert’s opinion must meet certain standards; otherwise, it will be deemed inadmissible. If you were injured in an accident on a cruise ship, you might be able to recover compensation, and it is prudent to meet with a Florida premises liability attorney to assess your possible claims.

The Plaintiff’s Injury and Claims

It is reported that the plaintiff was a passenger on a cruise ship owned by the defendant corporation. He was walking on one of the ship’s decks when he saw a chair in the middle of the walkway. He moved to walk around and slipped and fell, sustaining serious injuries. After his fall, he noticed liquid and food on the floor. He then filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging a count of maritime negligence. He hired an expert as well to provide an opinion as to why he fell on a slimy liquid substance. The defendant moved to preclude the plaintiff’s expert from testifying, arguing he did not employ any reliable methodologies.

Admissibility of Expert Evidence

Under the Federal Rules of Evidence, a party that seeks to admit expert testimony must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that it is admissible. A court will engage in a three-part test to determine whether an expert report may be admitted. First, it will determine whether the expert is qualified to testify on the matter he or she intends to address. Then, the court will examine whether the methodology the expert uses is sufficiently reliable. Finally, the court will determine if the testimony helps the trier of fact to understand the evidence or determine a disputed fact through the application of specialized or technical expertise or science. Continue reading ›

In Florida, property owners have a duty to maintain their premises in reasonably safe conditions, and if they breach that duty, they can be held liable for any harm that ensues. In addition to proving that an unsafe condition existed on a property, however, the injured party must also demonstrate that the property owner knew or should have known that the condition was present. In a recent Florida ruling, a court discussed what constitutes sufficient evidence of constructive notice in a case in which the plaintiff was injured in a slip and fall accident in a department store.  If you were hurt because of a dangerous condition on someone else’s property, you could be owed compensation, and you should speak to a trusted Florida premises liability attorney to evaluate your options.

The Plaintiff’s Injury

Allegedly, the plaintiff was shopping at the defendant department store when she slipped and fell in a puddle of milk. She suffered significant injuries and subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant, asserted a negligence claim, and arguing that the puddle had been present for such a length of time that the defendant should have been aware of its presence. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the claims against it should be dismissed. The court granted the defendant’s motion, and the plaintiff appealed.

Constructive Notice of a Dangerous Condition

Under Florida law, a business owner has an obligation to take reasonable and ordinary care to maintain its premises in a condition that is reasonably safe for invitees and to warn people entering the property of any dangers that the owner knows of and that invitees are unlikely to discover. Under this standard, if an individual slips and falls in a business on a transitory and foreign substance on the floor, the person who fell must prove that the business owner either knew that the substance was on the floor or had constructive knowledge of the condition. Continue reading ›

Children are prone to falls and other accidents while they are at school and often suffer minor injuries as a result. In many instances, though, such incidents are preventable and only occur because a party failed to alleviate known risks of harm. The grounds for imposing liability on a school for harm suffered by a child was the topic of a recent Florida ruling, in a case in which the trial court granted the defendant school’s motion for summary judgment. If your child suffered injuries due to the negligence of a property owner, it is wise to consult a capable Florida premises liability attorney regarding your options.

The Child’s Injury

It is reported that the plaintiff child, who was seven years old, suffered injuries at the defendant school when she ran into a pedestal table that had a glass edge during gym class. The plaintiff child, along with her parents, filed a negligence claim against the defendant, arguing it breached its duty to maintain a safe premises. After discovery was conducted, the defendant moved to have the plaintiff’s claims dismissed, arguing that the dangers presented by the table were open and obvious, and therefore there was no liability. The court granted the motion, and the plaintiffs appealed.

Liability for Harm Suffered at School

The court explained that in cases involving negligence, summary judgments should be granted sparingly. In other words, if the evidence raises an issue of material fact, the dispute should be submitted to the jury. In the subject matter, the court found that a triable issue existed and denied the defendant’s motion. Continue reading ›

Many people throughout Florida regularly shop at discount department stores for basic necessities. While people expect these stores to be safe, it is not uncommon for dangerous conditions to be present that unexpectedly cause them to slip and fall, and people hurt in such accidents may be awarded significant damages. The manner in which damages are calculated was the topic of a recent Florida opinion, in a case in which the plaintiff appealed a verdict in which she was granted compensation for the cost of past medical treatment but no damages for future treatment or for pain and suffering. If you are injured in a fall, it is advisable to meet with a proficient Florida premises liability attorney to determine your potential claims.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the plaintiff was shopping at the defendant discount department store when she slipped and fell due to a puddle of water on the floor. She sustained knee and back pain as a result of the fall and was ultimately diagnosed with a dislocated patella and herniated discs. Her injuries were treated conservatively, but she continued to suffer symptoms. She was deemed an unsuitable candidate for surgery. She then filed a lawsuit against the defendant, seeking damages for the harm caused by the defendant’s negligence. The case proceeded to trial, and the jury ultimately found in favor of the plaintiff, awarding her compensation for past medical expenses. The jury declined to grant her damages for pain and suffering or future medical expenses, however, and so she appealed.

Damages Under Florida Law

On appeal, the court explained that under Florida law, there is a clear distinction between past and future damages, as past damages can be closely examined, while future losses are less certain. Thus, due to the speculative nature of future damages, the fact finder has ample discretion in determining if they are appropriate. In the subject case, the court noted that the issue of whether future damages were warranted was hotly contested throughout the trial. The court noted, however, that the refusal to grant such damages aligned with the evidence. Continue reading ›

Many retail stores are national corporations that designate executive staff to overlook each store location. Thus, if a person is hurt in an accident in a store, the question may arise as to whether the corporation, an executive officer, or both are liable for the individual’s harm. The liability of a corporate officer of a retail store for injuries sustained in a slip and fall accident was the topic of a ruling recently issued by a Florida court. If you were hurt while shopping, you might be owed damages, and you should speak to a skillful Florida premises liability attorney to evaluate your options.

The Plaintiff’s Injury and Subsequent Lawsuit

It is reported that the plaintiff was a customer at the defendant’s store when she was injured in a slip and fall accident. The cause of her fall was wine that had leaked out of a shopping basket and onto the floor. The defendant executive team leader was working at the time but did not see the plaintiff fall. He spoke to the plaintiff after the fall but denied being aware of the spill or causing the spill.

Allegedly, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the defendants. The defendants moved the matter to federal court, arguing that the defendant executive, who would destroy complete diversity, was fraudulently joined. The plaintiff filed a motion to remand, which the court ultimately granted.

Continue reading ›

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