Slip and Fall, Premises Liability, and Negligent Security in Florida

In Florida, the owner or legal possessor/controller of property owes a duty to licensees, invitees (such as customers), and guests to maintain the premises in safe condition and to a duty to warn of concealed, unknown dangers (if known or should have been known by the owner).

There is a defense for the premises owner though if the injured person knew of the danger beforehand or the danger was open and obvious (such as seeing a large hole but still stepping into it). Or if the person is a trespasser.

There is also a duty at times for a owner to protect a person from the conduct or activities of a third person, such as a duty to use care to protect persons from the criminal acts of third persons. An example a bar owner can be liable for providing inadequate security (no bouncers) or safety measures for its patrons at the bar, whereby one patron attacks and injures another. Owners can be liable for the actions of their agents, or unrelated third persons. Another example is if a person is attacked by a robber in a grocery store parking lot, then the grocery store could be held liable for failing to provide adequate security in its parking lot.

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