Can Florida Landowners Be Held Liable for Injuries to Trespassing Children?

Most Florida premises liability cases arise after a guest or customer is injured while on the defendant’s property. These cases generally proceed under the theory that the landowner either failed to warn their guest of a known hazard or did not take sufficient efforts to remedy a dangerous hazard that was on their property. There are, however, other premises liability theories through which a landowner can be held liable for injuries occurring on their property. For example, under the attractive nuisance doctrine, a landowner can be held responsible for a child’s injuries that occur as a result of a dangerous object, feature, or condition of the defendant’s land that attracted the child onto the property. Notably, under the Florida attractive n...

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Florida Court Holds Landowner Can Be Liable for Injuries, Even Though the Hazard Was “Open and Obvious”

As a general rule, Florida landowners owe a duty of care to those whom they invite onto their property. This duty, however, is not without its limits. For example, a landowner will not typically be found liable for injuries that are caused by a hazard that is “open and obvious.” The rationale is that when a hazard is open and obvious, the visitor has equal of the danger as the landowner, and should be able to avoid the hazard. In a recent Florida slip-and-fall case, however, the court discussed a situation where a landowner may still be liable for a plaintiff’s injuries that were caused by an open and obvious hazard. The Facts of the Case According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff tripped and fell on an uneven section of sid...

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Slip-and-Fall Claims, What Are Your Rights?

As a general matter, Florida landowners owe a duty to those whom they invite onto their property to keep the area reasonably safe and warn visitors of known hazards that may not be readily apparent. The extent of the duty owed by a landowner depends on several circumstances, including the relationship between the parties. For example, a business visitor such as a customer in a retail establishment is owed a higher duty of care than a social guest. When a landowner fails to exercise the necessary level of care in maintaining their property, and a guest is injured as a result, the landowner may be held liable for their visitor's injuries through a Florida premises liability lawsuit. In general, in order to succeed in a premises liability lawsuit, a plaintiff must establish that the property owner knew or should have known about the hazard causing the plaintiff’s injuries. Importan...

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Update: Investigation Sheds Additional Light on Florida Roller Coaster Accident

In June of this year, six people were seriously injured when the Sand Blaster roller coaster on the Daytona Beach Boardwalk malfunctioned. News reports at the time explained that the coaster derailed shortly after it had re-opened after being closed for several weeks due to the coaster’s poor condition. A recent news report discusses some of the shocking discoveries investigators have uncovered in the few months since the accident. The Accident On June 14, several cars on the Sand Blaster derailed, sending two women in the front car plummeting over 30 feet to the ground below. The remaining passengers dangled from the track, waiting to be extricated by emergency workers. At...

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Florida Court Discusses Medical Malpractice Pre-Suit Requirement

In a recent case, a state appellate court issued an opinion in a Florida personal injury case requiring the court to discuss the state’s medical malpractice pre-suit requirement and whether the plaintiff’s case was required to comply with that requirement. Ultimately, the court determined that the defendant failed to establish, as a matter of law, that the plaintiff’s case sounded in medical malpractice, and thus the plaintiff did not need to comply with the pre-suit requirements.Florida’s Pre-Suit Notice Requirement Under Florida Statute section 766.106(2)(a), prospective medical malpractice plaintiffs must provide notice t...

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Hardware Store’s Motion for Summary Judgment Denied in Recent Florida Premises Liability Case

Earlier this month, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a Florida premises liability lawsuit requiring the court to determine if the lower court was correct to grant the defendant hardware store’s motion for summary judgement. The court ultimately concluded that each of the plaintiff’s two theories was sufficiently supported by the evidence such that they should proceed toward trial. Thus, the appellate court reversed the lower court’s decision to dismiss the plaintiff’s case. The Facts of the Case The plaintiff was shopping at the defendant hardware store when an object fell from a shelf behind him and struck him behind the knee. The plaintiff later filed a two-count personal injury lawsuit against the store. The plaintiff testified tha...

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Florida Roller Coaster Derails, What are the Victims Rights?

Earlier this month, six people were hospitalized after a car on the Sandblaster rollercoaster in Daytona Beach’s Mardi Gras Fun Center derailed. According to a local news report, the coaster was carrying ten people in three separate cars when the front car derailed and fell off the tracks. The front car that derailed fell to the ground, leaving the other two cars dangling over 30 feet in the air. Emergency responders rushed to get the remaining occupants down safely. In all, six people were hospitalized, two with serious injuries. Another news article interviewed one of the ...

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Florida Court Holds Determination of Whether Grocery Store Had Knowledge of Spill Was a Question for the Jury

Earlier this month, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a Florida premises liability case brought by a woman who slipped and fell while in a Whole Foods grocery store. The case presented the court with the opportunity to discuss whether the plaintiff’s evidence was sufficient to survive a summary judgment challenge regarding the store’s knowledge of the hazard that caused the plaintiff’s fall. Ultimately, the court concluded that the plaintiff did present sufficient evidence to give rise to a material issue of fact. Thus, the court held that summary judgment was not proper. The Facts of the Case The plaintiff was shopping in a Whole Foods grocery store when she slipped and fell near the self-service food section. The plaintiff, through a...

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Florida Supreme Court Discusses When a Case Must Comply with the State’s “Onerous” Medical Malpractice Requirements

In Florida, lawmakers have determined that lawsuits bringing claims of medical malpractice must comply with additional requirements that are not necessary in Florida personal injury cases bringing claims under a traditional theory of negligence. In so doing, lawmakers put courts in the position of determining which cases should be classified as “medical malpractice cases” and thus be subject to the additional requirements. A recent decision issued by the Florida Supreme Court provides some much-needed guidance for how courts should sort out personal injury cases that lie on the line between traditional neglig...

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Establishing Liability in Florida Slip-and-Fall Cases

When someone slips and falls on the property of another party, they may be entitled to recover compensation for the injuries they sustained as a result of the fall through a South Florida premises liability lawsuit. In order to prove a slip-and-fall case in Florida, certain elements must be met, or the court can dismiss the case upon the defendant landowner’s motion. Premises liability cases are based on the theory of negligence, which allows an accident victim to recover damages from the defendant if they can establish that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care, which was violated by some act or omission of the defendant. Furthermore, the plaintiff must establish that it was the defendant’s alleged negligence that caused the plaintiff’s injuries. In regard to the “breach” element, Florida lawmakers have enacted a statute to assist courts in determining if a defendant ...

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