Resolving Right Down to the Details
Josef B. Hess
With offices stretching across the state and a talented team navigating the nuances and demands of defense, we have cultivated an approach that’s truly distinct. And we put that approach into practice in a recent liability defense case.
In the case at hand, Rissman attorney Josef B. Hess obtained summary judgment for the defense in a case involving a slip-and-fall matter at a regional car dealership.
So what happened? The plaintiff suggested that he fell as a result of a liquid substance in the service bay area of the dealership. However, photos taken very shortly after the occurrence showed no substance on the floor.
The plaintiff testified that he didn’t know what he allegedly slipped on, that he couldn’t describe the alleged substance with any specificity, that he wasn’t sure if the ground was wet, and that he didn’t know of anything the dealership team could have done to prevent the fall. The dealership’s representative testified that there had been no similar instances of a customer falling in the service area.
The plaintiff’s counsel argued that the defense had provided insufficient discovery and obstructed the corporate representative’s deposition, and that the dealership spoliated evidence by resurfacing the shop floor.
The court ultimately found this argument to be without merit and held that the plaintiff’s assumption that he slipped on “something” was insufficient to meet his burden of proof set forth in Florida Statute 768.0755. The court ruled there was no evidence the alleged substance was present for a sufficient length of time to put the dealership on constructive notice. As such, he granted summary judgment to the defense.