Articles Posted in Premises Liability

In Florida, business owners, property managers, landlords and security contractors have a legal duty to take necessary steps to secure their premises and prevent foreseeable harm to patrons, residents and lawful guests. If a property owner fails in this duty, he or she can be held legally responsible for the damages.West Palm Beach negligent security

A poorly-secured premises can leave people vulnerable to robbery, sexual assault or another violent attack leading to serious and physical and emotional injuries. Sometimes, it can lead to death.

Negligent security is a special type of premises liability claim wherein someone alleges their injury by a third-party criminal on another person’s property was at least partially the result of the property owner’s failure to make the site safe when they had a responsibility to do so.

There are several defenses in negligent security cases for which your legal team should be prepared, as was illustrated in an appellate case recently before Florida’s 4th District Court of Appeal. In Pride of St. Lucie Lodge 1189 Inc. v. Reed et al, the issue was whether the court erred in awarding $5 million to the plaintiff (daughter of decedent), given that decedent had been involved in a felonious brawl at defendant night club just prior to her death. Continue reading

Eight acrobats who suffered life-altering injuries in a 2014 circus accident in which they fell 20 feet while hanging from their hair reached a $52 million settlement last month with the owner of the arena where it occurred. Notably, the Florida-based circus that employed them was not named as a defendant in that case.West Palm Beach injury lawyer

As our South Florida injury lawyers can explain, much of that has to do with the fact that state workers’ compensation laws stipulate that workers’ comp insurance is the exclusive remedy against an employer for work-related injuries. That doesn’t necessarily mean people who are seriously injured on-the-job don’t have alternative claims against third parties. This type of claim is more common in hazardous professions like construction, truck driving, warehousing, nursing, etc., where workers are often contracted to work at that location by another company. Continue reading

Like many other large cities, West Palm Beach has its fair share of criminal activity. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement reports that Palm Beach County’s violent crime rate in 2019 was 390 per 100,000 residents. The good news is that’s a drop of about 5 percent from the year before. However, it includes more than 560 reported rapes and sexual assaults, while only 105 arrests were made for these offenses. What some survivors may not realize is that besides the criminal justice system, there is another avenue of accountability: Civil claims filed against third parties for negligent security.West Palm Beach sexual assault lawyer

Crime statistics have proven invaluable in Florida negligent security lawsuits.

Negligent security is a type of civil premises liability claim filed for injuries resulting from a property owner’s negligence. Survivors of rape and sexual assault may have a negligent security claim if they can prove the property owner owed them a duty of care to protect against third-party attacks and failed to put reasonable security measures in place or warn them of possible danger. Continue reading

In Florida premises liability law, the “open and obvious doctrine” is one that states business owners can’t be held liable for open and obvious dangers – unless the owner should have anticipated harm despite the open and obvious condition.Florida premises liability attorney

An “open and obvious danger” is one that creates a visible, well-known risk of harm that would be discernible by casual inspection to someone of typical intelligence.

Property owners in general have a duty to maintain a reasonable degree of safety on their properties and to warn others of dangers that aren’t obvious. But patrons, guests and tenants also have a responsibility to recognize and appreciate danger when it’s open and obvious – and take prudent measures to protect themselves from that harm. Continue reading

An estimated 1 in 6 women in Florida will be victimized by sexual assault at least once in life, while 1 in 5 men will be victimized by some form of sexual violence other than rape. Although survivors can make the decision to report such actions to police, pursuing criminal prosecution is ultimately up to the local state attorney’s office. Even if the prosecutor files charges and secures a conviction, the reality is compensation to the victim in the form of restitution is unlikely to be adequate (if it’s ordered or able to be collected at all).Florida sexual assault lawsuit

But one avenue through which survivors may still obtain justice is civil litigation. As our West Palm Beach civil trial lawyers can explain, the goal of a civil sexual abuse lawsuit isn’t to undo what cannot be undone. Rather, it is to make victims as whole as possible by compensating for physical injuries, disability (time you had to take off work), mental and emotional trauma and even damaged relationships.

And the perpetrator may not be the only one you can hold responsible – even if he or she acted alone. In civil litigation, you’ll want to explore the potential liability of:

  • The owner/controller of the property where the sexual assault happened.
  • The offender’s employer.
  • The school, daycare, sports organization, religious institution, nursing home or hospital that had a duty to protect the victim.
  • Any security firms contracted to keep people safe.

Civil liability against third parties in sexual abuse lawsuits considers the duty of care the defendant owed to protect the plaintiff (victim) and whether the offense was reasonably foreseeable. Did the employer do enough to vet its workers? Did the sports organization overlook years of misconduct by a coach? Did the hotel fail to make sure it had adequate security staff on site to keep guests safe? These are the kinds of things that can result in a finding of third-party liability in Florida sexual assault lawsuits. Continue reading

A woman has filed a Florida negligent security lawsuit against owners of an apartment complex whom she says failed to protect her from a shooting that occurred after more than 1,100 calls for police assistance to the site.

The Ocala Star Banner reports plaintiff was one of two innocent bystanders injured in a shootout that left one man dead and another arrested on charges of second-degree murder. Florida negligent security lawsuit

Although it’s fairly early in the civil case, our South Florida premises liability attorneys know the history of crime at this complex will likely be central to the plaintiff’s success.

Local police department records reportedly indicate more than 1,100 calls for police assistance to the in the years prior for a range of crimes, including aggravated assault and battery, auto burglaries, auto thefts, robberies, drugs, child abuse and sexual offenses. Of those, more than 900 came from police presence from foot patrols the company requested and security details the company paid for. It’s not clear whether the apartment owner took any other additional security measures. Whether those security measures were adequate in light of the prior crimes will be a question for the jury. Continue reading

Violent crime has the potential to affect anyone. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement reports more than 33,000 arrests in 2019 for violent crimes, including battery, sexual assault, robbery and homicide. If you are injured as a result of a violent crime on another’s property, you may have grounds for filing a Florida negligent security lawsuit. filing a Florida negligent security lawsuit

Negligent security is a type of premises liability claim in civil law that allows for monetary compensation if a property owner or manager failed to put adequate security measures in place that left a person on site vulnerable to a criminal attack.

A property that is poorly secured can result in someone being attacked, shot, carjacked, sexually assaulted or robbed. Although courts do not expect property owners to be fortune tellers and anticipate every random criminal occurrence, it is expected they will undertake reasonable security measures to keep invited persons safe. Continue reading

Law.com recently reported a hotel agreed to a $4.75 million settlement paid to a slip-and-fall victim who suffered serious injury to her right knee. Although that sounds like a substantial sum, it begins to make more sense when you put it in the context of the exact circumstances of the case. That kind of a damage award isn’t just forked over in a Miami slip-and-fall case. You need a solid tort claim – and an experienced hotel injury lawyer.slip-and-fall

Hotel Slip-and-Falls in Florida

When you visit a resort or hotel in Florida, you have a right as a visitor to expect the property will be kept in reasonably safe condition. No one anticipates heading to the hospital on vacation.

Unfortunately, hotel floors are prone to slip, trip and fall risks that can leave guests with serious and lasting injuries. Some examples our Miami hotel injury attorneys have seen include:

  • Slippery spots around pools
  • Bathrooms in disrepair
  • Wet areas around ice machines
  • Freshly-mopped floors with no caution signs
  • Pool/rainwater tracked in from guests with no mats to catch it
  • Entryways that are obstructed/in disrepair

This list isn’t exhaustive, but it gives you an idea of some of the more common dangerous conditions that can give rise to Florida hotel slip-and-fall lawsuits. These fall under a category of tort law known a “premises liability,” meaning the property owner or controller is responsible for keeping lawful guests safe.

In Florida, the duty of care owed depends largely on the guest’s purpose on site. Individuals who are paying customers, on site for the benefit of the property owner are owed the highest duty of care. That means hotels are responsible not just to warn guests of known hazards, but to check for them regularly and address them promptly when discovered. Continue reading

Bars, festivals, nightclubs, concerts and cruises are required to use reasonable care in ensuring the safety of patrons – particularly if they are serving substantial or unlimited quantities of alcohol – in order to prevent South Florida injuries and wrongful deaths.South Florida festival injury lawyer

According to The News-Herald, a man filed a Florida injury lawsuit recently alleges a no-limit alcohol policy for unlimited alcohol policies for VIP guests. Among the most dangerous practices: Offering unlimited amounts of “free” alcohol. This, plaintiff alleges, resulted in his falling off the balcony at a Panama City Beach business owner and sustaining serious injury.

Although there was railing on the multi-level platform, there was no railing on the stairs that flanked either side of it. When he was asked by a security employee to sit down on the step, he complied – but lost his balance ended up falling from the stairs, sustaining serious and permanent injury.

A golf club may be liable for a near-fatal wasp attack suffered by a patron in California, where an appellate court reversed a summary judgment in the golf club’s favor.golf course injury lawyer

Although this is an out-of-state case, it’s an important read given that Florida has more golf courses than any other state (with Palm Beach County having more than any other county in the country). As a business, golf courses that invite patrons onto their property for the financial gain of the course owe the highest duty of care to those patrons, meaning they have a responsibility to regularly check for potential hazards and to either mitigate or warn of those about which they know or should know.

Here, the California First Appellate District, Division One, held that operators of golf courses must maintain their property in reasonably safe condition, which includes the duty to exercise reasonable care to shield guests from yellow jacket nests on their site. The measures a golf course operator is required to take may vary, so the court didn’t reach the issue of whether defendant golf course in this case breached that duty or caused patron’s injuries (those would be questions of fact for a jury, rather than a judge, to decide). Nonetheless, the case should move forward, as the course was not entitled to summary judgment before the trial even started. Continue reading

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