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Articles Posted in Slip and Fall Accidents

While Florida is known as the sunshine state, it does experience inclement weather on occasion. Although it does not frequently rain in Florida, business owners nonetheless must take measures to protect their customers from slip and fall accidents caused by rain puddles within their premises, and if they do not, they may be held accountable. Recently, a Florida court discussed what a plaintiff injured in a slip and fall accident at a Florida business must prove to recover damages. If you were hurt in a fall, it is in your best interest to talk to a Florida premises liability lawyer regarding your rights.

The Plaintiff’s Fall

It is alleged that the plaintiff visited a post office owned and operated on a rainy day in May 2018. She entered the lobby, slipped, and fell. She suffered knee injuries in the fall. She subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant, arguing its negligence caused her fall and injuries. The case proceeded to a bench trial, during which the court heard testimony from the plaintiff and from the defendant’s employees regarding their inspection and maintenance process and their placement of wet floor signage on the day of the fall.

Proving Liability for Slip and Fall Accidents in Florida

The court ultimately found that the plaintiff met her burden of proof with regard to her negligence claim and awarded judgment in her favor. The court explained that under Florida law, to prove negligence, a plaintiff must show a duty of care imposed on the defendant, a breach of the duty, a causal link between the breach and the plaintiff’s injury, and actual losses sustained by the plaintiff. Continue reading

Retailers have a responsibility to offer a safe shopping environment for their customers, which includes correcting unsafe conditions. If a store fails to fulfill its responsibilities and a customer is damaged as a result, the injured party may be able to file a civil lawsuit seeking damages. Plaintiffs in personal injury cases must adhere to any applicable pleading rules, though, or their claims may be dismissed. This was demonstrated by a Florida court’s recent decision to dismiss the plaintiff’s lawsuit after determining that her complaint was a shotgun pleading. If you were injured in a retail store accident, you may be able to recover damages, and it’s a good idea to speak with a Florida personal injury lawyer about your options.

The History of the Case

The plaintiff allegedly tripped and fell in a puddle of water while she was shopping at the defendant’s retail establishment. She sustained serious bodily injuries and instituted a case against the defendant, asserting only one claim of negligence. The plaintiff then filed an amended complaint, alleging vicarious culpability and loss of consortium under the negligence count, after the defendant moved the case to federal court. The defendant subsequently moved to dismiss the amended complaint, claiming that it was a shotgun pleading with conclusory accusations.

Pleading Requirements in Personal Injury Cases in Florida

The court ultimately agreed with the defendant and dismissed the amended complaint without prejudice. The court clarified that a shotgun pleading is a pleading where the plaintiff fails to divide various causes of action into separate counts as required by the pleading standards set forth in the federal rules of civil procedure. In the subject case, the court noted that the modified complaint contained a single negligence claim, but the plaintiff nonetheless asserted numerous additional causes of action within that count. Continue reading

Warehouse stores offer shoppers the convenience of being able to purchase a wide variety of goods in one place. While the vastness of such retail establishments allows them to provide customers with one-stop shopping, it can also make it difficult for people working in the store to remedy potentially harmful situations, like spills, when they occur. As such, it is not uncommon for people to encounter slippery conditions in stores and fall and sustain injuries. Whether a store will be liable for harm suffered in a slip and fall accident largely depends on whether it knew or should have known of the presence of a transitory condition that caused the fall, as explained in a recent Florida opinion. If you suffered harm in a slip and fall accident, you could be owed damages, and you should meet with a Florida personal injury lawyer to discuss your potential claims.

The Plaintiff’s Fall

It is reported that the plaintiff was shopping in the defendant’s warehouse store when he slipped and fell in a puddle in the freezer aisle. He stated he did not know how long the liquid had been on the floor, but after he fell, he noticed water leaking from the ceiling above the area where the fall occurred. He sustained back injuries in the fall and subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging its negligence led to his harm. The defendant moved for dismissal via summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff could not establish it had constructive notice of the leak as required to impose liability under Florida law.

Establishing Constructive Notice in Florida Slip and Fall Cases

The court ultimately denied the defendant’s motion. The court explained that a reasonable jury could find that the defendant had constructive notice of the water on the floor, and therefore, summary judgment was improper. In Florida, a person who falls on a transitory foreign substance on the floor of a business must establish that the business either knew or should have known of the dangerous condition and taken measures to fix it. Generally, a transitory substance is any solid or liquid substance or item that is in a place where it does not belong. Continue reading

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