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Proving Negligence in Florida Slip and Fall Cases

Under Florida premises liability law, Florida property owners have a duty to maintain their property in reasonably safe condition.  Our personal injury lawyers have found despite this duty, individuals become injured on the property of others every day.  At times, these injuries are the result of pure accident, but other times accidents occur due to a dangerous condition existing on the property.  Falls that occur due to dangerous conditions are known as “slip and falls.”  Slip and falls can occur nearly anywhere in Florida, but some common locations include grocery stores, parking lots, sidewalks, retail stores, hotels, nursing homes, pool areas, and more.

Property owners in Florida can be held liable for injuries sustained by others on their property if the slip and fall accident victim can prove several factors.  Florida Statute 768.0755 requires that an injured person prove the business establishment had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition that lead to their fall and should have taken action to correct it.  Constructive knowledge can be proven with a showing that:

  • The dangerous condition existed for a sufficient period of time that the business establishment should have known; or
  • The condition regularly occurred and was foreseeable.

The Gritty Banana Peel Test

The concept of constructive knowledge can be illustrated by looking to the “gritty banana peel test.”  This test was developed in two cases stemming from the 1900’s, Anjou v. Boston Elevated Railway Co. and Goddard v. Boston and Maine R.R. The cases present the following two scenarios to help illustrate the burden you must meet to prove negligence on the part of a property owner:

  1. The Yellow Banana Peel—if the plaintiff slipped on a fresh yellow banana, it indicated the peel recently feel to the ground. The business owner will likely claim it had no knowledge of the dangerous banana peel because it occurred recently.
  2. The Brown Banana Peel—if, on the other hand, the plaintiff slipped on a brown or gritty banana peel, this serves as evidence the peel has been on the floor for some time. The condition of the dangerous object, the banana peel, provides a strong indication of constructive knowledge on the part of the property owner because it has obviously existed for some time.

The gritty banana peel test has been applied to far more than just dropped bananas.  This fundamental look at constructive knowledge is useful in a variety of instances.  It reminds all slip and fall accident victims to analyze the dangerous condition, as this may prove vital to establishing negligence on the part of the business owner.  Anyone injured in a slip and fall should seek legal assistance right away so that their attorney can assist with preservation of evidence and analysis of their potential case.

Contact the Personal Injury Lawyers at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano Today For Your Free Consultation!

If you or a loved has been injured in an accident, contact the Miami Personal Injury Lawyers at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano.  Our outstanding car, truck, and slip and fall accident attorneys will diligently fight for your full recovery. We have over 130 collective years of experience representing accident victims across South Florida and will put our considerable experience to work for you.  Contact our firm as soon as possible to protect your legal rights.  Our firm is proud to have received an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and is ranked as a top firm in South Florida by the Miami Herald.  Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or you can visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.



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