Spectator sports are a year-round form of entertainment here in Florida, whether it’s minor league baseball or hockey tournaments or auto racing. Many parents and students also enjoy attending school sporting events, and for the most part, these events are fun for everyone.
But when a facility fails to protect the safety of its patrons, serious injury can occur. In these instances, it may be appropriate to explore the possibility of a premises liability lawsuit. The relative success of such litigation will depend on a host of factors, not the least of which is whether the facility was privately or publicly owned, and whether it was offered free of charge for recreational purposes.
It may seem a strange consideration, but F.S. 375.251 specifically shields property owners from all but the most egregious forms of negligence when they have made their property available to the public free of charge for recreational purposes. The idea is to encourage landowners to open their property for public use, such as picnicking, hiking, nature study, water skiing, sporting events, motorcycling, pleasure driving, boating, fishing or camping.