Daytona Beach Personal Injury Lawyers
Free Consultations 386.258.1622

Florida Fourth DCA rules that high voltage power lines were open and obvious danger not triggering homeowner duty to warn tree trimmer

On November 25, 2020, in Salinas v. Weden, et al., No. 4D19-3634, the Florida Fourth DCA affirmed a summary judgment for the defendant homeowners in a premises liability lawsuit filed against them by an independent contractor who was electrocuted while trimming trees on their property.  The independent contractor reportedly admitted that he saw electric lines above the palm trees. The Fourth DCA noted that while a property owner who has actual or constructive knowledge of latent or potential dangers on the premises owes a duty to give warning of, or use ordinary care to furnish protection against such dangers, the owner is entitled to assume that the invitee will perceive that which would be obvious to him upon the ordinary use of his own sense, and is not required to give the invitee notice or warning of an obvious danger.  The Fourth DCA cited Rice v. Fla. Power & Light Co., 363 So. 2d 834, 839 (Fla. 3d DCA 1978) (“the existence of unobstructed power lines, clearly visible above an open field is not a latent hazard”), and Hall v. Holland, 47 So. 2d 889, 891-92 (Fla. 1950).