Florida’s Slip & Fall Law Effective July 1, 2010 – How Does It Apply to My Slip and Fall Case at a Grocery Store, Department Store (Wal-Mart, Target, Etc.) and Other Business Locations?

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The 2010 Florida legislature passed a new law that was signed in April by Gov. Charlie Crist and takes effect on July 1, 2010, which requires a plaintiff to prove that a business was aware of a dangerous condition, and should have taken action to remedy it.
The new law nullifies the holding in Owens v. Publix Supermarkets, Inc, 802 So. 2d 315 (Fla. 2001) and repeals 768.0710 F.S. It essentially eliminates the burden on the defendant to produce evidence that it exercised reasonable care after a plaintiff has proven that a transitory substance caused his or her fall.
For example, under the old law which was in place for only a short time period before it was changed by a prior statute, if you slipped on a substance or object on the floor of a business, you needed only to prove the facts of the slip and fall accident. The burden was then on the defense to prove that it had exercised reasonable care under the circumstances.
Florida Statute Section 768.0755 merely codified the case law that was in effect for years in Florida prior to the Owens case. Following the holding in the Owens case would have provided slip and fall injury victims with a better and more fair system in order to pursue their personal injury claims and lawsuits. Even if Owens is not the law in Florida, there are still rights on behalf of slip and fall victims that can be pursued assuming negligence can be proven pursuant to the statute and related case law that has been around for years in Florida.
Prior to the Owens Case and other laws, the common law in Florida required that an owner or manager of the premises knew or should have known of the condition and failed to take measures to warn visitors of the condition or otherwise failed to take measures to clean up the condition or prevent the condition from taking place at all.
If you or a member of your family have been injured in a slip and fall accident and suffered any physical or emotional loss, contact our Jacksonville personal injury law firm.

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