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Asserting Basis for Punitive Damages against Corporate Entity

Posted by David Adelstein on May 19, 2019
Trial Perspectives / Comments Off on Asserting Basis for Punitive Damages against Corporate Entity

A defamation claim can serve as a basis to amend a complaint to add punitive damages.   From prior articles (here or here) you know that asserting a basis for punitive damages is not made as of the date the lawsuit is filed.  Rather, a plaintiff must comply with the statutory, procedural requirements and move to amend to assert punitive damages by proffering evidence that there is “a reasonable showing by evidence in the record…which would provide a reasonable basis for recovery of such damages.”  Fla. Stat. s. 768.72(1).  

There are times a plaintiff wants to attribute an employee’s defamation of character to that employee’s company.  The employer is likely the deep pocket so punitive damage against the employer carries much more weight than suing the employee, individually, for punitive damages.

If a plaintiff wants to add a punitive damages claim against a corporate entity based on an employee’s conduct, a reasonable showing must be made that:

(a) The employer, principal, corporation, or other legal entity actively and knowingly participated in such conduct;

(b) The officers, directors, or managers of the employer, principal, corporation, or other legal entity knowingly condoned, ratified, or consented to such conduct; or

(c) The employer, principal, corporation, or other legal entity engaged in conduct that constituted gross negligence and that contributed to the loss, damages, or injury suffered by the claimant.

Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare, Inc. v. Dukes, 44 Fla. L. Weekly D1306c (Fla 1stDCA 2019) quoting Fla. Stat. s. 768.72(3).

Therefore, if you want sue a corporate employer –the deep pocket–for the defamation committed by an employee and assert a basis for punitive damages, you will need to proffer evidence establishing a reasonable showing that corporate management “actively and knowingly participated in such conduct [or] knowingly condoned, ratified, or consented to such conduct [or] engaged in conduct that constituted gross negligence that contributed to the loss…suffered by the claimant.” 

 

Please contact David Adelstein at dadelstein@gmail.com or (954) 361-4720 if you have questions or would like more information regarding this article. You can follow David Adelstein on Twitter @DavidAdelstein1.

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Mutuality of Obligation when it comes to Contractual Attorney’s Fees

Posted by David Adelstein on May 11, 2019
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The recovery of attorney’s fees is a creature of contract or statute.  When a party prays for attorney’s fees in a lawsuit, that prayer for relief is based on a contractual basis or a statutory basis to attorney’s fees. 

Sometimes, contracts include one-way prevailing party attorney’s fees.  In other words, the contract may provide that if one party (typically, the drafter of the contract) has to enforce the contract, the other party has to pay that party’s attorney’s fees and costs.  But, what if the other party has to enforce the contract or prevails in the other party’s enforcement action.   Is that attorney’s fees provision reciprocal? The answer is YES based on Florida Statute’s s. 57.105(7) mutuality of obligation requirement.  Section 57.105(7) provides:

If a contract contains a provision allowing attorney’s fees to a party when he or she is required to take any action to enforce the contract, the court may also allow reasonable attorney’s fees to the other party when that party prevails in any action, whether as plaintiff or defendant, with respect to the contract.

“The purpose of section 57.105(7) is simply to ensure that each party gets what it gives.  However, “[t]he statute is designed to even the playing field, not expand it beyond the terms of the agreement.”  CalAlantic Group, Inc. v. Dau, 44 Fla. L. Weekly D1004b (Fla. 5thDCA 2019).   “[I]f a claim is within the scope of an attorney’s fees provision, the party defending against that claim is entitled to attorney’s fees pursuant to section 57.105(7) if the party prevails.”  Id

 

Please contact David Adelstein at dadelstein@gmail.com or (954) 361-4720 if you have questions or would like more information regarding this article. You can follow David Adelstein on Twitter @DavidAdelstein1.

 

 

 

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Suing Third-Party for Spoliation of Evidence

Posted by David Adelstein on May 04, 2019
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There is an independent spoliation of evidence cause of action against a third-party that accrues when that party “though not a party to the underlying action causing the plaintiff’s injuries or damages, loses, misplaces, or destroys evidence critical to that action.”  Shamrock-Shamrock, Inc. v. Remark, 44 Fla. L. Weekly D1093a (Fla. 5th DCA 2019).  This claim is a claim against a third-party – a party the plaintiff did not originally sue– and known as a third-party spoliation of evidence claim.  

If a party, such as a defendant, in the underlying action damages, loses, misplaces, or destroys evidence, this is known as first-party spoliation of evidence and does NOT give rise to an independent cause of action.  Shamrock-Shamrock, supra, n.1.   First-party spoliation can be dealt with directly in the underlying action.

A third-party spoliation of evidence cause of action is not easy to prove and is not intended to be easy to prove.

To establish a [third-party] spoliation cause of action, the plaintiff must prove each of the following six elements: (1) existence of a potential civil action, (2) a legal or contractual duty to preserve evidence which is relevant to the potential civil action, (3) destruction of that evidence, (4) significant impairment in the ability to prove the lawsuit, (5) a causal relationship between the evidence destruction and the inability to prove the lawsuit, and (6) damages. 

Shamrock-Shamrock, supra

The recent decision in Shamrock-Shamrock dealt with the “duty” element, i.e., did the third-party owe a duty to the plaintiff to preserve evidence.  The duty element is based on the “existence of a contract, statute, or properly served discovery request.”  Shamrock-Shamrock, supra.    

In this case, the plaintiff sued the third-party after the third-party obtained a new computer and destroyed the records on her old computer, although she did not know whether her old computer had relevant records to the underlying action.  In the underlying action, she was served with a deposition notice.  That deposition notice/subpoena was later amended a number of times and she was ultimately noticed for deposition duces tecum or with the requirement to bring documents.    Her computer was destroyed and replaced between the time she was originally noticed for deposition (without the duces tecum requirement) and the time she was noticed for deposition with the duces tecum requirement. 

The plaintiff argued that the third-party had a duty to preserve evidence on her computer based on the foreseeability of the underlying lawsuit and her actual knowledge of the lawsuit.  The appellate court, however, and at least in this case, was not going to extend the duty this far – it was not going to extend a third-party’s duty to preserve evidence based on the foreseeability or knowledge of litigation.  The reason being that such a “broad pronouncement would be tantamount to declaring a general legal duty on any nonparty witness to anticipate the needs of others’ lawsuits.”  Shamrock-Shamrock, supra.  

The outcome of whether a duty existed would presumably have been different if the third-party destroyed her computer AFTER she received a subpoena duces tecum for deposition requiring her to produce documentation at the deposition. In this situation, there would be an argument that the duty of preservation arose once she received the subpoena requiring her to produce the documentation.   The plaintiff would still need to prove the other elements to a third-party spoliation of evidence claim, but it would at least establish a duty existed on behalf of the third-party to preserve evidence.

 

Please contact David Adelstein at dadelstein@gmail.com or (954) 361-4720 if you have questions or would like more information regarding this article. You can follow David Adelstein on Twitter @DavidAdelstein1.

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The Contractual Right to Arbitrate a Dispute Can be Waived

Posted by David Adelstein on April 28, 2019
Trial Perspectives / Comments Off on The Contractual Right to Arbitrate a Dispute Can be Waived

Arbitration is a form of dispute resolution.  Instead of litigating your case in court with a judge, you arbitrate your case with an arbitrator.  Arbitration is less formal and, ideally, the arbitrator will have more of a background relating to the issues driving the dispute.  The parties either agree to an arbitrator or an arbitrator is appointed through a selection process.  With everything, there are pros and cons to arbitration to be discussed in detail with your counsel.  There are many disputes I prefer arbitration and there are many disputes I do not.

Arbitration is a creature of contract so if you are interested in arbitration as your form of dispute resolution then you need to include that in your contract.   However, the contractual right to arbitration can be waived.  Just because parties contractually agree to arbitrate a dispute is not an absolute — the right can be waived.  

The right to arbitration, like any contract, can be waived.  Waiver is the voluntary and relinquishment of a known right or conduct which implies the voluntary and intentional relinquishment of a known right.  The right to arbitration must be safeguarded by a party who seeks to rely upon that right, and the party must not act inconsistently with the right.  

Ship IV Harbour Island, LLC v. Boylan, 44 Fla. L. Weekly D831a (Fla. 5th DCA 2019) (internal quotations and citations omitted).

One way a party can waive the right to arbitration is by filing a lawsuit (without a contemporaneous motion to compel arbitration) since filing the lawsuit, in of itself, is inconsistent with the party’s desire to arbitrate the dispute.  

Another way a party can waive the right to arbitrate is by engaging in discovery in a litigation since this would be inconsistent with that party wanting to arbitrate the dispute. See Ship IV Harbour Island, supra (“[E]ngaging in merits discovery is inconsistent with an arbitration request and constitutes a waiver of the right to arbitration.”).  

 

Please contact David Adelstein at dadelstein@gmail.com or (954) 361-4720 if you have questions or would like more information regarding this article. You can follow David Adelstein on Twitter @DavidAdelstein1.

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Damages Caused by Wrongful Recording of Lis Pendens (Not Founded on Instrument or Statute)

Posted by David Adelstein on April 16, 2019
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What are the damages caused by the WRONGFUL recording of a lis pendens, and I am referring to a lis pendens NOT founded on a duly recorded instrument (e.g., not founded on a mortgage) or a statute (e.g., not founded on a construction or assessment lien)?  These are damages that should be accounted for in a lis pendens bond

The recent opinion in LB Judgment Holdings, LLC v. Boschetti, 44 Fla.L.Weekly D693a (Fla. 3d DCA 2019), relying on Haisfeld v. ACP Florida Holdings, Inc., 629 So.2s 963 (Fla. 4thDCA 1993), explained:

Haisfield looks back at losses that were actually suffered by a property owner from a lis pendens found to be unjustified, rather than at prospective losses that might be suffered. Its methodology is the best yardstick for evaluating the market value component of damages that may result from a wrongfully-filed lis pendensHaisfield instructs that such damages, if any, are measured by any decline in market value between the time the lis pendens is recorded and the time it is discharged. The proponent of a lis pendens might pay no damages if the market value increased substantially during that time. 

Haisfield also recognizes that the expenses of preservation and maintenance of the property subject to a lis pendens may be awarded for the interval between recordation and discharge if the lis pendens is found to be unjustified and the expenses are a consequence of the unjustified lis pendens.

Now, what about loss of investment return / lost opportunity?  For example, what if the lis pendens impacts a sale where there is a net market value for the property of “X” after taking the fair market value and deducting brokerage commissions, mortgage debt, and past due taxes.  This amount would ultimately represent equity in the property that if the party had could then earn interest—in other words, there is a loss of use of that equity.  See, e.g., LB Judgment Holdings, supra (party posting lis pendens bond proffered expert to produce computation to support what lis pendens bond amount should be; although the court required a higher lis pendens bond amount).  However, this loss of investment return / lost opportunity could be a damages methodology in different situations as it pertains to a real property dispute depending on the circumstances of that dispute.

Also, attorney’s fees should be factored into the lis pendens bond that “foreseeably may be incurred in discharging a lis pendens.”   S and T Builders v. Globe Properties, Inc., 944 So.2d 302 (Fla. 2006); accord LB Judgment Holdings, supra (rejecting argument that attorney’s fees include fees incurred during entire litigation as entire litigation is beyond fees incurred in discharging lis pendens).

Please contact David Adelstein at dadelstein@gmail.com or (954) 361-4720 if you have questions or would like more information regarding this article. You can follow David Adelstein on Twitter @DavidAdelstein1.

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Affirming Summary Judgment when there are Competing Expert Affidavits

Posted by David Adelstein on April 07, 2019
Evidence, Trial Perspectives / Comments Off on Affirming Summary Judgment when there are Competing Expert Affidavits

 

Summary judgment is proper if there is no genuine issue of material fact and if the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law.” “Summary judgment is designed to test the sufficiency of the evidenceto determine if there is sufficient evidence at issue to justify a trial or formal hearing on the issues raised in the pleadings.” Because summary judgment tests the sufficiency of the evidence to justify a trial, it “is proper only if, taking the evidence and inferences in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, and assuming the jury would resolve all such factual disputes and inferences favorably to the non-moving party, the non-moving party still could not prevail at trial as a matter of law.

A court considering summary judgment must avoid two extremes. On the one hand, “a motion for summary judgment is not a trial by affidavit or deposition. Summary judgment is not intended to weigh and resolve genuine issues of material fact, but only identify whether such issues exist. If there is disputed evidence on a material issue of fact, summary judgment must be denied and the issue submitted to the trier of fact.” On the other hand, a “party should not be put to the expense of going through a trial, where the only possible result will be a directed verdict.”

Gonzalez v. Citizens Property Ins. Corp., 2019 WL 1141236, *3 (Fla. 3d DCA 2019) (internal citations omitted).

The case of Gonzalez is a summary judgment case that I do not agree with it because it involves competing experts — a common scenario in many types of litigation.  It is a case where an insured sued its insurer for coverage under a property insurance policy.  Each side had an expert witness that opined as to the cause of a leak, which was an important issue as it pertained to whether the water damage was covered under the property insurance policy. 

The insurer moved for summary judgment based on its expert’s opinion that the leak was the result of normal wear and tear and thereby excluded under the policy.  The insured countered the summary judgment with an affidavit from its expert that the leak was due to wind damage which was covered under the policy.   The insured’s expert, however, inspected the roof after the roof was already replaced and, thus, the court concluded that this opinion was nothing more than conjecture that lacked “the required ‘discernible, factually-based chain of underlying reasoning’ necessary for an expert opinion to be admissible in evidence.”  Gonzalez, 2019 WL at *4.  The expert also based his opinion on wind speed which caused the damage that led to the leak by reviewing wind speeds in other locations around the day of the incident.  The court found that this was also nothing more than conjecture since relying on wind speed in one location to determine wind speed in a different location is not reliable.  Id. at *5. 

The reason I do not love this opinion–where the appellate court affirmed summary judgment in favor of the insurer–is because there were competing experts that rendered different opinions as to the cause of a leak.  There is nothing uncommon about competing experts and nothing uncommon about the fact that experts differ as to causation (or anything else regarding their respective opinions).  Experts rely on hearsay and assumptions and there are many times holes can be poked in the assumptions or the opinions extrapolated from the assumptions.  But, in my opinion, this should create a genuine issue of material fact for a jury to determine while assessing the credibility of the expert’s opinion and which opinion makes most sense as to the cause of a water leak.   An expert is not going to have personal knowledge because most experts, even the insurer’s expert in this case, are retained after-the-fact, e.g., after the leak occurred, the damage was discovered, and the loss reported to the carrier. 

 

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Proving Entitlement to a “Trade Secret”

Posted by David Adelstein on March 24, 2019
Trial Perspectives / Comments Off on Proving Entitlement to a “Trade Secret”

A recent case, Managed Care of North America, Inc. v. Florida Healthy Kids Corp., D735a (Fla. 1st DCA 2019), discusses the standard in proving entitlement to a “trade secret,” as defined by Florida law (below).  

In this case, bidders submitted proposals to a public body in response to an Invitation to Negotiate. In responding to the proposal, one of the bidders marked certain pages confidential as a trade secret, which is not uncommon.   A losing bidder sought to obtain this information under Florida’s Public Record’s Act and the bidder maintaining the trade secret protection filed a motion for declaratory relief asking the trial court for a declaration as to whether the information it marked confidential was exempt from public disclosure under Florida’s trade secret protection. 

Section 812.081(1)(c), Florida Statutes, defines “trade secret” as:

[T]he whole or any portion or phase of any formula, pattern, device, combination of devices, or compilation of information which is for use, or is used, in the operation of a business and which provides the business an advantage, or an opportunity to obtain an advantage, over those who do not know or use it. The term includes any scientific, technical, or commercial information, including financial information, and includes any design, process, procedure, list of suppliers, list of customers, business code, or improvement thereof. Irrespective of novelty, invention, patentability, the state of the prior art, and the level of skill in the business, art, or field to which the subject matter pertains, a trade secret is considered to be:

      1. Secret;
      2. Of value;
      3. For use or in use by the business; and
      4. Of advantage to the business, or providing an opportunity to obtain an advantage, over those who do not know or use it

when the owner thereof takes measures to prevent it from becoming available to persons other than those selected by the owner to have access thereto for limited purposes.

The First District Court of Appeal held that once the bidder maintaining the trade secret protection proved: (1) the information was used in the operation of its business; (2) the information provided the business an advantage or the opportunity for an advantage; and (3) importantly, the bidder took measures to prevent its disclosure (and, of course, the information is NOT readily accessible to the public), “the information is deemed protected trade secrets; and, by its very nature, the trade secrets are considered, as a matter of law, to be “of value.” Managed Cared of North America, supra.    Separately proving “of value” is not a required element of establishing the information is a trade secret. However, to prove entitlement to a trade secret, the “party must not only label the information as secretive [or confidential], but must also prove a business advantage or an opportunity to obtain an advantage.”  Managed Care of North America, supra. Once the party satisfies this burden, the information is “as a matter of law and by its very nature, considered ‘of value.’”  Id

 

Please contact David Adelstein at dadelstein@gmail.com or (954) 361-4720 if you have questions or would like more information regarding this article. You can follow David Adelstein on Twitter @DavidAdelstein1.

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Reversing Motion to Dismiss with Prejudice Based on Interpretation of Commercial Lease

Posted by David Adelstein on February 24, 2019
Standard of Review, Trial Perspectives / Comments Off on Reversing Motion to Dismiss with Prejudice Based on Interpretation of Commercial Lease

“’In determining the merits of a motion to dismiss, the trial court must limit itself to the four corners of the complaint, including any attached or incorporated exhibits, assuming the allegations in the complaint to be true and construing all reasonable inferences therefrom in favor of the non-moving party.Zurich Am. Ins. Co. v. Puccini, LLC, 2019 WL 454222, *1 (Fla. 3d DCA 2019) (citation omitted).   The standard of review associated with reviewing a trial court’s order granting a motion to dismiss with prejudice is de novoId.  

In Puccini, a commercial tenant operating a restaurant caused a fire. The fire resulted in significant damage to the commercial landlord’s building – the landlord’s property insurer paid it over $2.1 Million.    The insurer then, as a subrogee to the landlord, brought a subrogation action against the tenant that caused the fire damage.  The trial court granted the tenant’s motion to dismiss the subrogation action based on the tenant’s argument that it was an implied co-insured under the landlord’s insurance policy and, of course, an insurer cannot pursue a subrogation action against its own insured. 

The appellate court reversed the trial court’s dismissal finding that to determine whether a landlord’s insurer can pursue a subrogation action against a tenant, a court needs to adopt the case-by-case approach.  Under this approach, “there is no presumption if favor of or against subrogation; rather, the [commercial] lease-as-a-whole is examined in order to ascertain the intent of the parties as to who should bear the risk of loss for damage to the leased premises caused by the tenant’s negligence.”  Puccini, 2019 WL at *2 (internal quotations omitted).   The appellate court, examining the lease-as-a-whole attached as an exhibit to the lawsuit, found that the tenant bore the risk of negligence and was not an implied co-insured with the landlord.

 

 

Please contact David Adelstein at dadelstein@gmail.com or (954) 361-4720 if you have questions or would like more information regarding this article. You can follow David Adelstein on Twitter @DavidAdelstein1.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Considerations when Multiple Proposals for Settlement are Served on Separate Defendants

Posted by David Adelstein on February 17, 2019
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I have previously discussed proposals for settlement / offers of judgment (“proposals for settlement”).  A proposal for settlement is a statutory vehicle pursuant to both Florida Statute s. 768.79 and Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.442 to create an argument to recover attorney’s fees based on the judgment amount.  (See this article for more on proposals for settlement).

For a plaintiff (party seeking affirmative relief), the plaintiff must obtain a judgment 25% greater than the proposal for settlement amount. When there are multiple defendants, the plaintiff needs to serve a proposal for settlement on each defendant. 

In Cassedy, Jr. v. Wood,44 Fla.L.Weekly D422a (Fla. 1st DCA 2019), a landlord sued his tenants for breach of a lease when the tenants vacated the property and stopped paying rent.  The lease agreement provided that if collection was required by the landlord, the tenant was required to pay 10% of the judgment amount to cover attorney’s fees.  I have no clue why the attorney’s provision in the lease included this language versus the standard prevailing party attorney’s fees language.

The landlord, obviously knowing the lease would not make him whole for purposes of recovering his attorney’s fees based on that interesting attorney’s fees language, also served a proposal for settlement on each of his tenants.  The proposal for settlement required each tenant, independent of the other tenants, to pay the landlord $25,000.   If the landlord recovered a judgment 25% greater than any proposal for settlement amount, the landlord would now have an argument to recover his attorney’s fees from the date he served the proposal for settlement on forward.

The landlord recovered a judgment of $83,657.60 against the tenants.  The tenants were jointly and severally liable for this amount, meaning they were ALL on the hook for this total amount and the landlord could collect this judgment amount from any one or a combination of the tenants.  This makes sense since likely all of the tenants were on the lease and signed the lease.

The trial court denied attorney’s fees pursuant to the proposal for settlements, which was subject to a de novo standard of appellate review.  The appellate court reversed.

The tenants argued the separate $25,000 proposal for settlement amounts should be aggregated (totaling $75,000) for purposes of determining whether the judgment amount was 25% greater than the proposals for settlement amount for purposes of determining whether attorney’s fees should be awarded.  This was shot down on appeal.  There is no requirement that separate proposals for settlement be aggregated and there was no dispute that the landlord recovered a judgment against all the defendants ($83,657.6) 25% greater than the $25,000 proposal for settlement amounts, especially since all of the tenants were jointly and severally liable for the judgment.

The tenants also argued that the landlord could not recover attorney’s fees pursuant to the lease and also through a proposal for settlement.  This was shot down on appeal.  “Based on the imposition of a penalty pursuant to section 768.79 [Florida Statutes] and its mandatory application if all requirements are met, we find a party is not precluded from receipt of attorney’s fees under a contract and the [proposal for settlement] statute simultaneously.”  Cassedy, Jr., supra.

 

Please contact David Adelstein at dadelstein@gmail.com or (954) 361-4720 if you have questions or would like more information regarding this article. You can follow David Adelstein on Twitter @DavidAdelstein1.

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Duty to Maintain Property May Exist Even with Open and Obvious Dangerous Condition

Posted by David Adelstein on February 10, 2019
Trial Perspectives / Comments Off on Duty to Maintain Property May Exist Even with Open and Obvious Dangerous Condition

 

Even with an open and obvious dangerous condition, there may still exist a duty to maintain the property and repair that same condition

In Middleton v. Don Asher & Associates, Inc., 44 Fla.L.Weekly D301d (Fla. 5th DCA 2019), the plaintiff was a unit owner in a condominium for 15 years. She slipped and fell while she was walking on the condominium’s premises.  In particular, she slipped and fell on a sidewalk that contained uneven joints between two concrete segments.  She sued her condominium association and property manager for negligence in a premise liability action.  The sidewalk was apparently a common element required to be maintained by the association. 

The condominium association and property manager filed a motion for summary judgment claiming that the plaintiff’s premise liability claim fails as a matter of law because the condition of the sidewalk was open and obvious and did not constitute a hidden, dangerous condition.  The plaintiff countered that even if the condition was open an obvious, a fact issue remained whether the association and management company should have anticipated that condominium residents would use the sidewalk and, therefore, repair that condition.   The trial court granted summary judgment holding that the condition of the sidewalk was open and obvious and did not constitute a hidden, dangerous condition.   This was reversed on appeal.

[T]he duty owed to invitees is ‘1) to use ordinary care in keeping the premises in a reasonably safe condition, and 2) to give timely warning of latent or concealed perils which are known or should be known by the owner or occupier.’… The obvious danger doctrine recognizes that owners and occupiers should be legally permitted to assume that an invitee will perceive that which would be obvious upon the ordinary use of their own senses.” Middleton, supra (internal citations omitted).

The plaintiff was an invitee as she lived in the condominium.  There is law that finds that uneven floor levels are an open and obvious condition, so this did not appear to be a disputed issue.  Yet, although this means an owner may not have a duty to warn others of the open and obvious condition, this does not discharge the owner’s duty to “maintain the property in a reasonable safe condition by repairing conditions that they foresee will cause harm.”  Middleton, supraStated differently, the obviousness of a dangerous condition does not relieve an owner’s duty to repair that same condition.   

Here, if the property manager and association anticipated others would use the sidewalk and encounter the open and obvious condition, they still had a duty to maintain the sidewalk in a reasonably safe condition.  If they could anticipate others would use the sidewalk with the open and obvious dangerous condition, then, naturally, it could be anticipated that others could be harmed by that condition.  This does not mean that the plaintiff would not be found comparatively negligent for getting hurt on the open and obvious condition, it just means the association and property manager may have been negligent for not acting reasonably to maintain and repair the condition.

Please contact David Adelstein at dadelstein@gmail.com or (954) 361-4720 if you have questions or would like more information regarding this article. You can follow David Adelstein on Twitter @DavidAdelstein1.

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