The Third District Court of Appeal recently issued an opinion addressing the scope of discovery in slip & fall accident cases related to business establishments.

In Publix v. Santos, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D1656 (Fla. 3rd DCA July 31, 2013), the Plaintiff alleged that she slipped and fell as a result of wet spinach or other substances on the floor of the Publix supermarket. Throughout the litigation, the Plaintiff sought information regarding all slips and falls at the specific store where the accident occurred. Publix provided discovery which established that there were no prior incidents at that particular store.

The Plaintiff then sought discovery related to any and all reports regarding slip & fall accidents at any Publix stores within the state. Publix objected and after the trial court ruling an appeal ensued.

The court agreed with Publix and noted that by granting the Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel, the Plaintiff would be given discovery beyond the scope of the incident. The appellate court affirmed that the injured person must prove that the “particular business establishment” where the injury occurred had actual or constructive knowledge and not the total network of stores of which the defendant may be in control of. Thus, the plaintiff’s request regarding accidents at other stores was irrelevant.

In the event you have further questions regarding a slip and fall injury we invite you to contact Robert Sparks Attorneys for a free case evaluation.