Much to the disappointment of personal injury attorneys throughout the State of Florida, and to the clear detriment of those injured when they slip and fall because of a business’ negligence in failing to maintain their premises in a safe condition, the Florida Legislature recently turned the clock back to 2001, by enacting the law known as HB689.
The new law requires that the injured victim of a slip and fall prove that the business had actual or constructive knowledge of the condition which caused them to slip, and that the business should have taken some action to prevent the fall. This law places the burden upon the injured victim, rather than the business owner, who under Florida Law since 2001, had the burden on proving they maintained their floors in a safe condition.
While is generally impossible to prove that a business had actual knowledge of a dangerous condition, the law allows the victim to use circumstantial evidence to prove that the dangerous condition existed long enough so that the business should have known of it.
This law will require most slip and fall cases to be litigated, increase the expenses associated with such matters, and further congesting our already crowded court system. Yet another blow against the rights of innocent injured Floridians.