Proposed Florida New Slip and Fall Statute (March Litigation Quarterly 2009)

March 1, 2009

In 2009, HB 495 was proposed in the legislature of the State of Florida that would repeal the current slip and fall statute, Section 768.0710, Florida Statutes.

The language of the proposed statute reads as follows:

768.0755      Premises liability for transitory foreign substances in a business establishment. – – If a person slips and falls on a transitory foreign substance in a business establishment, the 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.  Constructive knowledge may be proven by circumstantial evidence showing that:

(1) The dangerous condition existed for such a length of time that, in the exercise of ordinary care, the business establishment should have known of the condition; or

(2) The condition occurred with regularity and was therefore foreseeable.

Section 2.    Section 768.0710, Florida Statutes, is repealed.

Section 3.    This act shall take effect July 1, 2009.

The proposed statute shifts the burden of proof in claims of negligence involving transitory foreign objects or substances from the duty to maintain premises of Section 768.0710, Florida Statutes, to the allegedly injured plaintiff, who, pursuant to Section 768.0710, Florida Statutes, must prove that the business establishment had actual or constructive knowledge of the condition and should have taken action to remedy it.  The change will make slip and fall actions more difficult to successfully bring.


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