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"Slip and Fall" Bill Passes House Committee

By Gina Jordan


Tallahassee, FL – A proposal known as the "slip and fall" bill went before the House Civil Justice and Courts Committee Monday. The measure is strongly supported by business and opposed by trial lawyers.

If someone falls because of some sort of a substance on the floor of a business and decides to sue, the bill provides that the plaintiff will have to prove the staff knew about the dangerous condition.

Paul Anderson with the Florida Justice Association calls the bill a business bailout, since state law requires owners to keep the premises in reasonably safe condition.

"And one of the things you will be doing if you pass this bill is you will be repealing that provision from statute."

But Jim Smith, president of the Florida Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, says this bill means a great deal to his members, most of whom are mom and pop operators.

"As far as cleanliness is concerned, it is absolutely imperative in the business that we operate that we keep those premises clean all the time."

The bill sponsor said it was brought forward in response to the escalating costs of defending baseless predatory slip and fall lawsuits. It easily made it through the committee.