Premises Liability for Assault Committed by a Third Party in Florida

In the state of Florida, as with other states, the owner of a property has a legal obligation to maintain it in reasonable conditions so that visitors are safe when they enter the property. If you or someone you know has been injured on someone else’s property, you should seek the help of a qualified Miami injury attorney who can assess the merits of your case. We understand this area of the law very well and can inform you of your legal options. The outcome of your case will hinge on your reason for being on the property.

In Wilshire Insurance Co. v. Poinciana Grocer Inc., a Florida appeals court has reversed a decision that obliged Wilshire Insurance Co. to defend a convenience store in a negligence suit, holding that the insurance policy coverage did not extend to allegations stemming from assault and battery allegations. Put another way, the court stated that the company did not have a duty to defend a grocery store in an underlying suit over a fight that broke out inside the convenience store.

Negligence is the failure to use reasonable care in one’s actions or omissions. Reasonable care refers to the obligation to behave in a way that a reasonably prudent person would behave in the same or similar circumstances. Negligence is a legal doctrine that is intended to encourage individuals to act sensibly so as to prevent foreseeable injury to others.

The facts of the case are as follows. A man was legally at a grocery store undertaking trash removal as part of his job. While he was at the store, he purchased a large amount of alcohol. As he was leaving the premises, he was stabbed by another individual on the property.

According to the opinion, the injured man sued the grocery store for failure to maintain the property in a safe condition, failure to warn, and failure to prevent violence with sufficient security. The grocery store sought indemnification from its insurance company, which argued that the policy clearly stated exclusions stemming from assault and battery cases. The trial court denied summary judgment on the issues of indemnification.

The appeals court reversed the lower court’s decision. The court of appeals stated that the policy explicitly states that the grocery store does not have a duty to defend when the underlying claim is for assault and battery by a customer. It is important to note that this does not mean the plaintiff cannot seek compensation from the store owner. It just means that the insurance company is not responsible to defend itself or tender damages for the claim.

If you have been hurt on someone else’s property, you may be able to recover compensation for the harm you have suffered. The highly skilled Miami premises liability attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon can help examine the facts of your case and inform you of your rights. We proudly represent clients throughout South Florida. Contact us online or call us today at 1-877-499-HURT (4878) for a free, confidential consultation.

More Blog Posts:

Liability for Alcohol Sellers in Florida, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, January 15, 2014

Exclusive Remedy in Workers’ Compensation Cases, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, January 8, 2014

Phantom Vehicles in Florida Injury Cases, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, January 2, 2014




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