Articles Posted in Premises Liability

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While our personal injury lawyers have previously discussed the Florida 5th DCA case of Southern Owners Insurance Company v. Cooperativa  v. De Seguros Multiples, etc. as it relates to negligent supervision, this blog considers a different issue.  Although many drowning accidents in Florida result from lack of adequate supervision, trespassing children can receive special protection under the law.  Swimming pools pose a unique risk to young children who often lack the maturity and experience to understand the threat of drowning or severe injury including brain damage from oxygen deprivation.

Although the main issue in the case involved the absence of a lifeguard or other supervision, drowning incidents sometimes involve children who wander onto property with a pool without express or implied permission.  Lawsuits arising out of swimming pool drownings on the property of another are governed by premises liability law.  When a person is injured by a hazard on the property of a third party, the individual’s purpose for being on the property will dictate the duty of care owed by the owner.  Continue reading →

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Our Miami premises liability lawyers often publish blog articles that highlight the many obstacles trip and fall victims face when pursuing personal injury lawsuits in Florida.  Although the legislature has placed obstacles in the path of those injured because of falls due to lack of maintenance and care, a recent decision of an appellate court in Florida provides encouragement for plaintiffs injured because of the negligence of property owners.  In a recent case, the court considered whether the “obvious” nature of a hazard entitled a defendant to summary judgment.

The plaintiff was injured while attempting to conduct a banking transaction at an ATM machine at the defendant bank.  The plaintiff planned to drive up to the ATM machine but decided to use the walk-up ATM when she discovered the bank was no longer open.  When the plaintiff approached the area of the outdoor ATM, she discovered the area was under construction.  The plaintiff testified to the court that a sign was positioned in front of the cash machine with an arrow directing patrons to proceed around a barrier in front of the construction.  When she walked around the barrier in the parking lot, the plaintiff stepped into what she characterized as a “pothole” that caused her to fall.  The plaintiff suffered an injury to her back and neck and a fractured leg and foot. Continue reading →

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Liability of a property or business owner operating an enterprise on commercial premises can be liable for product suppliers and customers.  The duty owed for injuries to a customer or party engaged in a commercial relationship on the premises of a business owner is contingent on the relationship between the parties, the nature of the hazard, and the actual or constructive knowledge of the owner.  In this blog post, our Miami personal injury lawyers review an appellate court decision addressing the liability of a gas station owner to the driver of a tanker run down while resupplying fuel to the service station.

The lawsuit was brought by the driver of a tanker truck who was at a gas station to deliver gasoline.  According to documents filed in the lawsuit, the truck driver parked his rig at the service station and placed three orange warning cones around his vehicle.  The plaintiff entered the store to discuss details about the gasoline delivery.    As directed by the owner of the gas station, the plaintiff moved to the area where the gas tanks were located to measure the level of the tank’s prior to filling them.  The tanker driver placed an orange cone as a warning in the vicinity of where he was determining the amount of gasoline in the tanks.  While engaged in measuring the volume in the tanks, the plaintiff got on his hands and knees to retrieve a tank cap that he dropped inside the tank.  Another driver hit the plaintiff as he attempted to fish out the cap. Continue reading →

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Many people have been involved in barroom brawls that cause serious injury.  The party suffering injury often does not cause the physical altercation or might even be an innocent bystander.  The owner of the bar and the property can be liable to a person injured because of unsafe conditions on the premises.  Owners of a bar or the commercial property where a bar is located have a legal duty to take reasonable care to prevent patrons from being hurt in a fight or to warn of the potential for brawl-related injuries.  In this blog, our Miami personal injury attorneys discuss negligent security claims in the context of a court decision involving a woman injured in a fall during a bar fight.

In the Florida appellate case of Faber v. Pasco, the plaintiff sued Joseph Karl, the bar owner, and Karl of Pasco, the owner of the commercial property.  The plaintiff filed a premises liability lawsuit alleging that the negligence of the defendants caused her injury when she was at The Karl Reef.  The complaint alleged that the manager of the bar and the plaintiff were standing near each other when a fight erupted.  The complaint also indicated that the plaintiff was the victim of an intentional attack that caused her to fall after another customer hit her. Continue reading →

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While a third party like a school district or a patron in a bar can be liable for the violent actions of another student or customer, liability often will turn on the issue of whether the third party’s actions were reasonable foreseeable.  Intentional criminal acts by a third party sometimes are determined to be a “superseding cause” that cuts off the liability of another entity in the causal change that leads to injury.  However, a third party’s criminal conduct typically will not provide a basis for imposing liability unless the criminal conduct is reasonably foreseeable.  Our Florida traumatic brain injury attorneys recognize that this can be an important issue in premises liability lawsuits involving injuries occurring to patrons in bars, students attacked at school, or the sexual assault of a customer in the parking lot of a bank.

Our premises liability lawyers offer a recent decision in the California case, Carter v. Kern High School District, as an example of the circumstances that can warrant the liability of a property owner for the violent criminal act of a third party.  At the time of the brutal attack in this case, the student wore a chicken suit to a high school prep rally to make fun of a rival school.  Shortly after donning the costume, the plaintiff was brutally attacked by two other students.  When the victim goes to a school administrator (the school activities director) to beg off wearing the costume again, he is threatened with the cost of reimbursement of the $75 fee for the rental.  During the succeeding rally, other classmates dogpile the student while kicking, hitting, and punching him.  Because the rally was to include a “mock fight,” no school faculty members took any steps to intervene and stop the attack. Continue reading →

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The premises liability lawyers at our law firm frequently receive questions from clients about the process of selecting an attorney.  Some people assume that any lawyer licensed in Florida is qualified to handle a personal injury lawsuit.  Although technically any licensed attorney might be permitted to represent an injury victim, the misconception that all attorneys are equally qualified can be a costly error.  Because many injury victims have never had cause to retain legal representation until they are injured by the negligent or intentional conduct of another, the process of choosing the best lawyer to handle your lawsuit can be difficult and confusing.

Our Miami negligent security lawyers recently reviewed a case that reflects the importance of careful selection of legal representation in personal injury cases.  The Rhode Island Supreme Court issued an opinion affirming a ruling dismissing a complaint filed by the patron injured in a fight at a nightclub.  The complaint contained what appeared to be a clerical error in that it identified the wrong date for the incident. Continue reading →

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