According to Florida case law as of the date of this article, a premises liability claim is a negligence claim with the added elements of possession or control of the premises, and notice of the dangerous condition:
“To prevail on its summary judgment motion, Winn-Dixie had to establish there was no genuine issue of material fact on one or more of the elements of Oliver’s claim. See Lago v. Costco Wholesale Corp., 233 So. 3d 1248, 1250 (Fla. 3d DCA 2017). A premises liability claim is a “negligence claim with the added elements of possession/control of the premises, and notice of the dangerous condition.” Bechtel Corp. v. Batchelor, 250 So. 3d 187, 200 (Fla. 3d DCA 2018) (citing Lisanti v. City of Port Richey, 787 So. 2d 36, 37 (Fla. 2d DCA 2001)). So Winn-Dixie had to show there was no genuine issue of material fact about one of the following: (i) its duty to Oliver; (ii) whether it breached the duty; (iii) whether there was a causal connection between its breach and Oliver’s fall; (iv) Oliver’s damages; (v) that it lacked control of the premises; or (vi) that it did not have constructive notice of the grape or surrounding liquid on the floor. See id.; Lago, 233 So. 3d at 1250.
Only one element is relevant here: whether Winn-Dixie had constructive knowledge about the grape or surrounding liquid.1 A prior version of the statute governing premises liability specifically provided that “[a]ctual or constructive notice of the transitory foreign object or substance is not a required element of proof to this claim.” Ch. 2002-285, § 1, Laws of Fla. (enacting § 768.0710, Fla. Stat. (2002)); see ch. 2010-8, § 2, Laws of Fla. (repealing § 768.0710, Fla. Stat.). But when it enacted section 768.0755, Florida Statutes (2010)—the current premises liability statute that governs this case—the legislature modified the duty owed by a business to an invitee injured by a transitory substance. Lago, 233 So. 3d at 1250. Section 768.0755 specifically places the burden on the plaintiff to prove that the business establishment had constructive knowledge of the hazard. *129 Pembroke Lakes Mall Ltd. v. McGruder, 137 So. 3d 418, 424 (Fla. 4th DCA 2014); § 768.0755(1), Fla. Stat. (“[T]he injured person must prove that the business establishment had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition and should have taken action to remedy it….”)..”
See: Oliver v. Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., 291 So. 3d 126 – Fla: Dist. Court of Appeals, 4th Dist. 2020
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