Joseph Stokes secured a favorable ruling from the Florida Fifth District Court of Appeal recently, which affirmed the Final Summary Judgement entered by the Seventh Judicial Circuit Court of Florida in July of 2021.

The original complaint arose after the Plaintiff, a patron of our client’s business, slipped on an unidentified liquid substance, fell down, and was allegedly injured. The Plaintiff alleged our client was negligent in their duty to exercise reasonable care for her safety. The burden for establishing negligence, found in §768.0755, Florida Statutes, requires Plaintiff prove that (1) the dangerous condition existed for such a length of time that in the exercise of ordinary care the business should have noted it or (2) the condition occurred with regularity and was  therefore foreseeable. In the original Motion that resulted in a Final Summary Judgement in our client’s favor, Mr. Stokes highlighted the complete lack of evidence presented by the Plaintiff to identify the substance, how it got on the floor, or how long it had been present. Without adequate evidence there can be no claim that our client had actual or constructive knowledge of the condition that allegedly resulted in the Plaintiff’s fall.

On appeal Mr. Stokes, with the assistance of associate Angelica Inclan, successfully argued that, despite the condition of the substance after the Plaintiff had fallen, plaintiff was unable to provide factual evidence to support her claim that the substance was a known safety hazard prior to the fall. On July 12, 2022 Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal affirmed the lower court’s Summary Judgement.

As an independent, Jacksonville-based civil litigation law firm, the attorneys at Saalfield Shad, P.A. have represented self-insured entities and insurance companies in North Florida for decades. The firm’s lawyers have extensive trial experience in state and federal courts, exceptional litigation skills, and diversified practices. With deep local ties in the community, they have built a reputation for successful representation, proactive and personalized counsel, and outstanding client service.

Disclaimer: Prior results achieved by Saalfield Shad, P.A. do not guarantee a similar outcome for other clients