In Florida, if you get injured on someone else’s property, whether it is a private home or a business frequented by the general public, the law that controls whether the property owner is liable is known as premises liability law. The basic rule is that a land owner will be liable to an injured guest in many situations, but it depends on the reason plaintiff was on the property at the time of the accident.
At common law, and still today, there is a distinction between licensees and invitees. A Licensee is someone who is on the property solely for his or her own enjoyment. Basically, this person is on the property and is not benefiting the landowner. This comes from a landmark legal decision from the Supreme Court of Florida entitled Stewart v. Texas (1953). In this case, it was held that landowner only owes a duty to warn of known dangers, keep the property in reasonably safe condition, or intentionally places plaintiff in harm’s way. An example of a business licensee would be someone who comes into a store to get change for a parking meter, but not to purchase anything. Continue reading →