Articles Posted in Premise Liability

One of the best things about living in Florida is enjoying the outdoors on your lanai, rooftop or stoop – yes, even in the summer time. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, there are countless cookouts throughout the Sunshine State. Many homeowners look forward to these gatherings, and some even feel it’s an obligation over the holidays. foodcooking

But beware that an afternoon of brats, beers and BBQ can have its pitfalls if you’re playing the host. There are many potential avenues of liability to consider. There is the possibility of a premises liability or social host liability lawsuit if you aren’t careful.

The good news for Floridians is that standard homeowners’ or renters’ insurance will probably cover you for most incidents, including injury, fires, property damage and probably even a guest causing a DUI crash after the party.  Continue reading

In order to prove premises liability, plaintiffs must show that the property owner or manager knew or should have known that an unsafe condition existed and that there was a failure to warn or address the problem in a timely manner. fence

In the recent case of Wheeling Park Commission v. Dattoli, the West Virginia Supreme Court reversed a trial court damage award of nearly $56,000 (which plaintiff was hoping to have increased on appeal), finding plaintiffs did not establish a prima facie case of negligence because there was no evidence the park’s commission knew or should have known of the defect that reportedly caused plaintiff’s injury.

The incident in question occurred in September 2007 at a resort and conference center. Plaintiff was there with his wife attending activities at the park when he leaned against a split rail fence. As he did so, the end of the top rail broke into numerous pieces, causing plaintiff to fall down and injure his shoulder. Continue reading

Last year, a record 105 million tourists visited the state of Florida. It was the fifth consecutive year for record visitation to the Sunshine State. tourist

Of those who visited:

  • 89.8 million were domestic visitors who traveled to Florida (reflecting an 8 percent increase over the previous year);
  • 11.2 million visitors were from overseas;
  • 4 million visitors came from Canada.

While most tourists enjoy pleasant vacations and return home with a tan and great memories, some unfortunately leave with injuries. When those injuries are the result of someone else’s negligence, navigating the legal system in order to obtain compensation for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering can be difficult. You need an attorney who understands U.S. and Florida law and who is well-practiced in representing tourists.  Continue reading

When a parking lot trip-and-fall accident occurs in a landscaped area not intended for pedestrian foot traffic, can a property owner still be held liable? parkinglot1

According to Florida’s Third District Court of Appeals: It depends.

In the recent case of Grimes v. Family Dollar Stores of Florida, Inc., et al., the court ruled that previous precedent that answered, “No” to this question had not taken into account a situation wherein the landscaped area was well-worn from business invitees routinely using it as a walkway. The court reasoned that when an area displays this kind of condition, visitors may reason that this is an accepted shortcut. It also puts the property owner/ manager on notice that customers are using the area for this purpose, which heightens the responsibility to ensure it is reasonably safe.  Continue reading

Trial started recently in Las Vegas for a woman who went shopping for palm trees at a big box store and left with a serious head injury. plantsale

In Hendrickson v. Lowe’s Home Centers LLC plaintiff is seeking punitive damages in her premises liability lawsuit in a Nevada state court. She alleged the home improvement retailer failed to clear standing water in the store’s outdoor area, which caused her to slip and fall, suffering a serious brain and neck injury.

At the time, back in 2013, she was searching for trees and plants for her outdoor garden and she did not see the water that was on the concrete floor. The claim for punitive damages is bolstered by the fact plaintiff was able to show this was not merely an isolated incident. In fact, there were at least 33 other similar incidents plaintiffs identified at other stores in the outdoor garden area.

Plaintiff attorneys have characterized defense willful lack of regard for customer safety “despicable,” and argued such an award is necessary to drive home the point that ignoring such a serious safety risk should come at a price.  Continue reading

A hot air balloon injury resulted in a lawsuit against the operator of the tethered rides, but the litigation almost didn’t get off the ground. Recently, the Wisconsin Supreme Court reversed a lower court ruling and granted plaintiffs the right to continue with their case, finding the defendant wasn’t shielded by the state’s recreational use statute. hotairballoon

Florida has a recreational use statute as well, codified in F.S. 375.251. The law provides protection from liability for land owners who offer up their property for free to be used by the public for recreational purposes. It’s an incentive to get private property owners to open up their lands for public enjoyment. However, if someone is injured on that site, they may have a tough time recovering damages.

But in Roberts v. T.H.E. Ins. Co., there was one major snag in the defense’s case: Defendant wasn’t the owner of the property. Continue reading