Florida Appeals Court Affirms Lower Court Decision in Premise Liability Case, Ruling Against Injured Worker

In a recent case, the District Court of Appeal of the State of Florida Third District issued an opinion in an appeal in a premise liability case between a worker, Raul Arias, who was injured at his place of employment, Excel Converting, Inc., and Codealtex, LLC, the company that leases the property to Excel. Appellant Raul Arias was injured while operating machinery at Excel and subsequently sued Codealtex, alleging it had a duty to maintain the premises and the machinery that he was injured by.

Excel leased the premises where Arias was injured from Codealtex. Arias sued Codealtex, alleging it had a duty to maintain the premises and specifically the machinery on which he was injured. Codealtex moved for summary judgment, which the trial court granted. Arias timely appealed. The appeals court decision emphasized control of the property, finding that “once a landlord delivers possession and control of the leased premises . . . to the tenant, the landlord is not liable for injury to the property or person of the tenant or those on the premises with the permission of the tenant.” As a result, the appellate court affirmed the lower court decision, upholding the summary judgment ruling.

While the open and obvious doctrine can prevent plaintiffs from successfully holding landowners fully accountable for injuries in Florida, there are other ways to make sure injured parties are properly compensated. Florida landowners are still required to maintain their land and the premises in a safe condition. The courts of Florida have ruled that landowners can still be at fault for failing to maintain safe premises, even if an obvious or open danger means they do not need to warn others. Specifically, even in circumstances that are open or obvious, property owners should anticipate that people on the property will encounter the hazard, and subsequently can be found negligent for failing to maintain the premises safely. In such a situation, the plaintiff may be found to have contributed to their own injury, but the landowner can still be apportioned blame.

Florida landowning defendants will often try to use the open and obvious defense to protect against their actual negligence when it comes to injuries on their property. Plaintiffs should consult an experienced injury attorney to address these common defenses to make sure they receive the best possible award to recover from their injuries.

Have You Been Hurt in a Slip and Fall Accident in Florida?

If you or someone you love has suffered an injury stemming from a slip and fall or workplace accident, the lawyers at Friedman Rodman Frank & Estrada can help you understand your rights and the remedies available to you under Florida law. Our team of attorneys has successfully advocated for injured individuals throughout Florida for 46 years. Expenses from injuries can quickly become overwhelming, and having an experienced roster of attorneys by your side can make a world of difference for your claim. Make sure that you make the most out of your claim and get the award that you deserve. Contact our team at 305-448-8585 to schedule a free and no-obligation initial consultation with a lawyer at our office.

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