While the owner of a store or other business might be financially responsible to customers, vendors, or other members of the public that fall on their premises, the classification of the visitor will be essential in making this determination. Even property owners who run a business open to the general public do not have a legal duty to guarantee the safety of visitors under all circumstances. The scope of the duty owed to an individual on the property of another depends on whether the person is classified as a trespasser, licensee, or invitee. In this blog, our Miami premises liability lawyers review a recent decision from the 4th DCA that upheld summary judgment against a fall victim.
In Delores Arp v. Waterway East Association, Inc, et al, The plaintiff was walking with a companion when they decided to use a shortcut across the property owned by a business with an easement belonging to the City of Delray Beach. The court noted that the shortcut required the plaintiff to pass through the parking lot of a shopping center, step over a curb at the end of the lot, and cross a grassy area by stepping on a path of paver stones before walking across more grass and around a guardrail. Documents in the lawsuit alleged that the plaintiff tripped on defective paver stones which caused a fall and injuries. The City of Delray Beach also possessed an easement over the area of the fall to access and attend to storm pumps and public utilities. Continue reading →