Business owners generally owe two duties to whom they open their doors to do business: 1) to warn of concealed dangers which are or should be known to the owner and which are unknown to the invitee and cannot be discovered through the exercise of due care; and 2) to use ordinary care to maintain its premises in a reasonably safe condition. Rocamonde v. Marshalls of Ma, Inc., 56 So.3d 863, 865 (Fla. 3d DCA 2011).
In a slip-and-fall case, the substance causing the fall is usually obvious to the customer and, therefore, should be discovered through the exercise of due care by the customer. As such, these cases will typically turn on whether the business owner used ordinary care to maintain its premises.
Whether a recovery is possible will largely depend on how long the foreign substance rested on the floor before the accident and injuries occurred. For example, thirteen seconds will, generally speaking, not be enough time even if the store was aware of the dangerous substance being on the floor. Dominguez v. Publix Super Markets, Inc., 187 So.3d 892 (Fla. 3d DCA 2016).
However, if the business only checks for potentially dangerous substances only once every half-hour or more, a business owner can be held liable for injuries suffered by a customer as a result of slipping on such a substance. Costco Wholesale Corp. v. Marsan, 823 So.2d 301 (Fla. 3d DCA 2002).
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