Premises Liability

Premises liability insurance provides the insured liability protection from injuries and damage experienced by a third party on their premises. Section 768.0710 (2), Florida Statutes, sets forth the burden of proof that a Plaintiff in a civil action for negligence must meet in order to sustain his or her case against the owner or possessor of a premises. Specifically that statute states:

(2) In any civil action for negligence involving loss, injury, or damage to a business invitee as a result of a transitory foreign object or substance on business premises, the claimant shall have the burden of proving that:

(a) The person or entity in possession or control of the business premises owed a duty to the claimant;

(b) The person or entity in possession or control of the business premises acted negligently by failing to exercise reasonable care in the maintenance, inspection, repair, warning or mode of operation of the business premises. Actual or constructive notice of the transitory foreign object or substance is not a required element of proof to this claim. However, evidence of notice or lack of notice offered by any party may be considered together with all of the evidence; and

(c) The failure to exercise reasonable care was a legal cause of the loss, injury, or damage.

Thus, under Florida law, the mere fact that a Plaintiff alleges negligence is not enough to get the case to a jury. Plaintiff must come forward with some evidence that the premises owner failed to maintain, inspect, or operate the premises with reasonable care.

The owner or operator of a business, for example, has a legal duty to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition, or at least warn the public of a dangerous condition that they caused, were aware of, or should have been aware of. The key term here is “reasonable.”

Under Florida law, a premises owner is not responsible for an injury simply because it occurred on its premises. Given this fact, the initial discovery phase of a premises liability case is extremely important. The specific factual details regarding the allegations being made by the Plaintiff are critical in such a case. If the Plaintiff can not meet the burden of proof set forth in section 768.0710, Florida Statutes, then oftentimes the matter will be dismissed by the court on a defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment, prior to trial. The attorneys at Metzger Law Group, P.A. are extremely successful in developing premises liability cases to show that the incident occurred due to the acts or omissions of the Plaintiff, a third party, or were simply an accident not due to any fault of the premises owner. Our attorneys have been granted numerous summary judgments on these issues and have obtained many defense verdicts on premises liability cases that have gone to trial.

Additionally, Florida’s transient population and significant crime rate requires effective premises liability defense litigation in the area of negligent security cases. Metzger Law Group, P.A. also aggressively defends premises liability claims based on false imprisonment, kidnapping, sexual and other assaults and wrongful deaths.

We have offices conveniently located in Tampa, Florida. Please contact Metzger Law Group, P.A. today to address your Premises Liability needs.

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