Recently, Florida’s First District Court of Appeal affirmed a summary judgment in favor of a grocery store chain in Walker v. Winn Dixie Stores Inc., where a woman was injured after falling on wet floor near the entrance of the store.
Such outcomes have become increasingly common since 2010, when the Florida legislature enacted Florida Statute 768.0755, which requires plaintiffs prove defendant had actual or constructive knowledge of a dangerous condition and failed to remedy it.
Our Fort Myers premises liability attorneys know prior to 2001, this was generally the standard in Florida, with the burden of proof largely on the plaintiff. Merely showing proof of an on-site injury was not enough. But then, the Florida Supreme Court issued its ruling in Owens v. Publix Supermarkets, Inc. The outcome of that ruling was the burden of proof shifted to the owner or operator of the establishment, which was thereafter required to show it exercised reasonable care under the circumstances presented.