Defense Prevails in Florida Resort Slip and Fall.
We obtained summary judgment in favor of a Florida resort hotel owner and operator in a case arising from a trip and fall incident at a Cocoa Beach Hotel. The plaintiff and her husband were upgraded to an oceanfront suite, which had a sliding glass door leading to a patio. The plaintiff alleged that she opened the sliding glass door all the way and that, while attempting to take a picture with her cell phone, she tripped and fell on the “raised metal threshold,” which she alleged was both improperly placed and was dangerously high. The plaintiff fell outside of the room, landing on the concrete patio, and sustained a complex fracture of her ankle that required immediate open reduction internal fixation (ORIF). A motion for summary judgment was filed on the grounds that neither the hotel owner nor the hotel operator owed a duty to warn as the condition was not a concealed danger but, rather, was open and obvious. The court agreed that there was no breach of either duty because the plaintiff knew of the condition, but failed to avoid it, and that it was her negligence that caused the fall.