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Florida Second DCA rules that whether defendant store breached its duty to warn the plaintiff of the danger posed by a spilled liquid was genuine issue of material fact for jury determination

On May 27, 2020, in Fredrick v. Dolgencorp, LLC, No. 2D18-4621, the Florida Second DCA reversed a trial court’s summary judgment in favor of a premises liability defendant after concluding that genuine issues of material fact remained as to whether the defendant, Dollar General Store, breached its duty to warn the plaintiff of the danger posed by a spilled liquid at the store. However, the Second DCA agreed with the trial court’s conclusion that Dollar General did not breach its duty to maintain its premises in a reasonably safe condition because it did not have sufficient time to do so in the fifty-one seconds between the spill and the plaintiff’s fall, citing Dominguez v. Publix Super Mkts., Inc., 187 So. 3d 892, 893-94 (Fla. 3d DCA 2016) (concluding that grocery store did not breach its duty to maintain its premises in a reasonably safe condition where only thirteen seconds passed between the spill of laundry detergent on the ground and the customer's fall), and Gaidymowicz v. Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., 371 So. 2d 212, 214 (Fla. 3d DCA 1979) ("[w]e conclude that with only one minute actual notice, Winn-Dixie did not have a sufficient opportunity to correct the dangerous condition"). The Court noted that it was leaving undecided the issue of whether the patch of laundry detergent constituted an open and obvious condition because it was not raised on appeal.

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