Florida appeals court overturns partial negligence finding

A Florida Court of Appeal sent a premises liability case back to a lower court for a new determination of damages. The ruling was issued by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeal in relation to the circuit judge’s finding that a woman was partially negligent in a slip-and-fall because she was wearing high heels.

According to court records, the woman slipped and fell in a bathroom at the office building where she worked, suffering injury as a result. The floor was apparently wet at the time, and the woman was wearing heels about 4 inches tall. The woman had sued the property management company for her injuries.

The trial court had ruled that the woman and the property management company each shared 50 percent of the blame for her accident. In overturning the judge’s ruling, the appellate court directed the judge to find in the woman’s favor. The appellate court indicated that a finding that a woman shares in the negligence in a premises liability case simply for choosing to wear high heels is not appropriate.

A common defense to a personal injury lawsuit is that the plaintiff contributed to his or her own injuries. If successful, this argument serves to greatly reduce any damages recovery. Plaintiffs should not be held to be negligent for simply choosing to wear accepted footwear as this court found. In the event that a person is seriously injured due to known and uncorrected hazards at a business, he or she may want to seek a consultation with a personal injury attorney who accepts premises liability cases. An attorney may be able to help by identifying all claims and defendants. He or she may then litigate on behalf of his or her client to help them recover their deserved damages.

Source: CBS Miami, “Court: Don’t blame high heels for slip & fall,” March 27, 2015