Roig Win for Jenna Hackman and Premises Liability Team

October 12, 2023

Jenna Hackman and our Premises Liability team achieved a big win!
This case was a classic slip and fall that occurred in the grocery area of the client’s store. The plaintiff testified she slipped on what she described as some droplets of clear water on a white, dirty floor. She did not observe any footprints or cart marks through the water. Video surveillance and a number of depositions of our client’s employees could not identify when the substance was presented on the floor or who was responsible for it being there. Jacksonville-based partner, Jenna Hackman, moved for summary judgment on the grounds the plaintiff could not satisfy her statutory burden of proving our client had actual or constructive knowledge of the substance in accordance with section 768.0755, Florida Statute. The plaintiff conceded that actual knowledge was not an issue nor was foreseeability. Then, the plaintiff attempted to create an inference of constructive notice by arguing the client’s employees were in the area and failed to detect the droplets of water.
The Court rejected that argument and the plaintiff’s cases in support finding that numerous people walked over the area and no one, including the plaintiff who walked over the area twice before falling, was able to detect it nor could the plaintiff establish when the water was presented. Summary judgment was granted in favor of our client!
The plaintiff also filed a Motion for Spoliation of Evidence arguing that the employees had not protected the area of the fall sufficiently so that too many people walked through the area before photographs were taken. The plaintiff claimed the area had been spoliated. In response, we argued that the client had no duty to create evidence for the plaintiff or do so in a timely manner and the alleged conduct did not rise to the level of sanctions. The Court agreed and denied the plaintiff’s motion.