Like most other personal injury cases, Florida slip-and-fall claims are brought under the theory of negligence. Thus, to succeed in a slip-and-fall case, a plaintiff must be able to establish that the owner or lessee of the property where their fall occurred had knowledge that the hazard existed. A recent state appellate decision illustrates this requirement.
According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff and her daughter were visiting her daughter’s friend’s home so that the girls could get ready for a school dance. The day before, there was a light snowfall, however, it was undisputed that there was no snow on the ground at the time the plaintiff arrived. As the plaintiff exited her car and approached the front door, she slipped on some ice, but did not get hurt. When the plaintiff got inside, she told her daughter’s friend’s father (the defendant) that the front steps were icy.
As the plaintiff was getting ready to leave, she again told the defendant that the front steps were icy, and the defendant asked them to leave through the garage door. The plaintiff and the girls left through the garage door, and the plaintiff slipped and fell on a patch of ice next to the front driver’s side door of her car. The plaintiff broke her ankle in the fall. She later filed a premises liability case against the defendant.