A commercial property owner, the entity or person that owns or occupies the premises, owes a duty of care to the individuals it opens its doors to, who are generally considered “business invitees.” These types of premises expand well beyond restaurants and retail stores, including amusement parks, hotels, and resorts. Florida requires these owners to maintain their properties in a state that is reasonably safe for its invitees. Accordingly, Miami business owners must keep the grounds free from transitory conditions and foreign objects that might foreseeably harm visitors, such as a puddle of water.
Liability arises when the owner knew or should have known about these conditions. The following factors may prove that the owner should have known:
- The duration or length of time that the dangerous condition existed for. If the business establishment should have known of the condition, through the exercise of ordinary care, liability will likely attach.
- If the condition occurred frequently or regularly, then the owner should have foreseen the injury caused.