Articles Tagged with premises liability

In Florida premises liability law (which pertains to the responsibility of property owners to keep their site reasonably safe), the “open and obvious” doctrine is one that essentially states if a hazard or condition was open and obvious to a reasonable person, the landowner isn’t liable (or might be less liable) for failing to address the danger or warn the injured person about it. The idea is a visitor should have been able to recognize and appreciate that an open and obvious danger was present and take measures to protect themselves from that harm. personal injury

It can be a powerful defense, and one our personal injury attorneys in Fort Lauderdale are committed to challenging head-on. We recognize there may be numerous exceptions to the open-and-obvious doctrine, including:

  • Landowner knew people would likely be hurt even if they were aware of it;
  • Negligence per se, which involves violation of a health or safety statute, for which landowner could be liable regardless of the awareness or actions of the injured party.

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All businesses that welcome the public have a legal responsibility to discover any condition on site that may be dangerous, and to either promptly address that hazard or warn invitees of it. pallet

However, as noted in the 1952 Florida Supreme Court case of Earley v. Morrison Cafeteria Co. of Orlando, the business may assume that invitees will perceive conditions that are obvious upon the ordinary use of his or her own senses. Restated another way, there is no duty by the business to warn patrons of open and obvious conditions. So a business needs to warn about concealed dangers that are known or should be known to the owner and are unknown to the patron and can’t be discovered through the exercise of due care. The business also needs to use ordinary care in maintaining its property in reasonably safe condition.

These standards were all reviewed in a recent case before Florida’s 1st District Court of Appeal, which considered the open and obvious doctrine defense in a trip-and-fall injury lawsuit against a Bay County grocery store. Before the court was a request to consider whether summary judgment in favor of defendant was appropriate when the injured man observed the dangerous condition, but failed to step around the obstacle.  Continue reading

Disputes between tenants and landlords are fairly common almost anywhere you live. Unfortunately, too many landlords are more concerned about their bottom line than in ensuring their property is habitable and safe for tenants and guests. stairway

There have been cases in which the lack of management can result in injuries. For example, if there are slippery floors, broken stairwells or damaged handrails, this could result in a serious fall. Where doors and windows aren’t equipped with locks or other security features, this could make residents and guests vulnerable to crime.

In these cases, where injury results, the terms of the lease agreement isn’t the only recourse Florida tenants have. Continue reading

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