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Florida Appellate Court Rules in Plaintiff’s Favor in Library Slip and Fall Case

A Florida appellate court recently issued a ruling in favor of a plaintiff in her premises liability lawsuit against the Orange County Public Library System (the “Library”). The plaintiff filed strict liability and negligence claims against the Library after she suffered injuries when a bottom drawer of a copier unexpectedly popped out and caused her to trip. The plaintiff claimed that the Library was strictly liable based on their ownership of the defective copier. She also claimed the Library was negligent under premises liability. She filed an appeal after the trial court dismissed her claims based on her failure to state a cause of action. The appellate court addressed Florida’s pleading requirements in negligence lawsuits and concluded that the plaintiff met the state’s requirements, allowing her case to proceed towards trial.

When a Florida slip and fall victim files a premises liability lawsuit against a business owner, the plaintiff must provide the factual basis of their claim in their complaint. There are two pleading systems in the United States, fact and notice. While federal claims follow the notice pleading system, Florida state claims require fact pleadings. A plaintiff’s complaint must comply with the state’s fact-pleading requirement and include a “short and plain” statement of the facts that show that the plaintiff is entitled to relief.

In Florida negligence lawsuits, the complaint must allege:

  1. The defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff;
  2. The defendant breached their duty;
  3. The plaintiff suffered an injury because of the defendant’s breach; and
  4. There is a causal relationship between the plaintiff’s injuries and the defendant’s negligent conduct.

To establish the first requirement in a Florida premises liability lawsuit, the plaintiff must allege that the business owner violated the two duties that the law requires. In Florida, business owners must use reasonable care to keep their property safe and warn invitees of obvious or latent dangers that the owner knew or should have known about and that the invitee could not have discovered through their due care.

In this case, the plaintiff’s complaint met the fact-pleading requirements. She included her status as an invitee on the property, the date when the accident occurred, her location at the copier, the cause of her injury, and the Library’s failure to maintain and inspect the copier. The court ultimately concluded that the plaintiff sufficiently pled her claims and met the state’s fact-pleading requirement.

Have You Suffered Injuries Due to Another’s Negligence?

If you or a loved one sustained injuries or death in a Florida accident, you should contact the experienced accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon. Florida requires strict adherence to procedural and evidentiary rules. Breaching these rules can have unplanned and undesirable consequences to a plaintiff’s claim for damages. Florida injury victims should retain a knowledgeable and experienced law firm to ensure their claim is handled properly. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon have helped countless Florida slip and fall accident victims navigate this complicated area of the law and receive the compensation that they deserve. Florida injury victims may be entitled to compensation for their lost wages, medical bills, lost support and services, as well as pain and suffering. Contact our South Florida personal injury law firm today at 1-877-499-4878 to schedule your free initial consultation.