• FREE Case Review ➞ Call 305-662-6178Text 786-808-1515 EnglishSpanish

Understanding Florida’s Standard Jury Instructions in Premises Liability

Understanding Florida’s Standard Jury Instructions in Premises Liability

Understanding Florida’s Standard Jury Instructions in Premises Liability 1080 1080 Panter, Panter & Sampedro

A legal standard is a set of guiding principles based on government-enacted laws. Standard jury instructions are meant to guide the jury in what to look for during a premises liability lawsuit. In 2020, the Florida Supreme Court removed itself from its authorizing role of approving jury instructions. However, standard jury instructions are available and maintained by the Florida Bar

The negligence section for premises liability cases instructs the jury to decide whether the defendant “negligently failed to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition, or negligently failed to correct a dangerous condition about which (the) defendant either knew or should have known, by the use of reasonable care, or negligently failed to warn (the) claimant of a dangerous condition about which (the) defendant had, or should have had, knowledge greater than that of (the) claimant; and, if so, whether such negligence was a legal cause of loss, injury, or damage to (the) claimant, decedent, or person for whose injury claim is made”. The standard jury instruction highlights property owners’ two independent duties to invitees: the duty to maintain and the duty to warn. 

Transitory Business Substances

An example of a transitory business substance is spilled cooking oil in a supermarket. If an individual slips and falls due to the cooking oil, the injured individual must prove that the supermarket knew or should have known of the presence of the oil on the ground and failed to remedy the dangerous situation in time. The standard jury instructions relating to transitory foreign substances may be found in Florida Statute 768.0755 under the heading “Premises liability for transitory foreign substances in a business establishment”. 

In the premises liability case, N. Lauderdale Supermarket v. Puentes, the defendant (N. Lauderdale Supermarket) proposed the standard jury instructions be amended to instruct jurors to focus on “whether the defendant negligently failed to correct a dangerous condition about [which] the defendant knew or should have known by the use of reasonable care[,] or failed to warn the … claimant of a dangerous condition about which (defendant) ha[d] or should have had greater knowledge tha[n] that of the plaintiff…”. 

Florida’s Fourth District reviewed section 768.0755, and its predecessor statute, and concurred that a plaintiff cannot succeed based solely on a property owner’s failure to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition. Critically, when harmed by a transitory foreign substance, a plaintiff must also show either that the owner knew of the dangerous condition or that the condition existed for such a length of time that, by using ordinary care, the property owner should have known of the dangerous condition.

Call A Slip and Fall Accident Attorney

A premises liability claim for a slip and fall incident becomes possible if hazardous conditions caused an individual’s fall and led to actual injuries. Contacting a slip-and-fall accident attorney as soon as possible may help injury victims explore their options. 

At the law firm of Panter, Panter & Sampedro, we can handle the legal process so that injured persons may physically and emotionally recover. For over 30 years, our experienced trial attorneys have worked one-on-one with clients to successfully get the justice, recovery, and compensation they deserve.

The deadline, or statute of limitations, for filing a lawsuit against a property owner after a slip and fall accident is *two years from the date of an incident. Call Panter, Panter, and Sampedro today before the statute of limitations expires at (305) 662-6178.

*On March 24, 2023, Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill (HB) 837 reducing Florida’s statute of limitations for general negligence cases from four years to two years. In other words, a lawsuit alleging negligence must now be filed within two years of the date of the alleged negligence or the claim will be forever barred.









Panter, Panter & Sampedro

Call Us

A Personal Injury Law Firm Protecting Florida’s Families For Over 30 Years.

Panter, Panter & Sampedro
How Were You Injured?
We want to hear your story.
Connect with one of our experienced trial lawyers today.