Actual knowledge means that an owner or operator or its employees had actual notice of a dangerous condition before the accident.
Actual knowledge is the same as “actual notice”. In Florida, an owner or operator has a duty to use reasonable care to protect invitees from dangerous conditions that it has actual knowledge of.
This duty requires that operator or owner to use reasonable care to get rid of known dangers, to block of the area from invitees, warn invitees of the hazard, or use a mix of these tactics.
Causing Substance to Get on Floor is Actual Notice
If an owner, his agent or employee puts or spills a debris on the floor, the owner has actual knowledge of the danger and must use the proper measures to protect his invitees from it.
Becoming Aware of Danger is Actual Knowledge
If a third party or an invitee creates the hazard and the owner, his agent, or his employee becomes aware of it, this constitutes actual knowledge.
Why Is Actual Knowledge so Important in a Slip and Fall Case?
In Florida, if a person slips and falls on a transitory foreign substance in a business establishment, the injured person must prove that the business had actual or constructive knowledge of the dangerous condition and should have taken action to fix it….”
In these Florida slip and fall cases, if you can’t prove actual or constructive knowledge, you lose. No exceptions.
The same is true for cruise ship slip and fall cases.
Real Florida slip and fall case example of actual knowledge
In a Florida slip and fall case against Walmart, the appeals court allowed the case to go to trial where employees were mopping the floor at the time of the fall and put cones in area. The case is Silvers v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 826 So. 2d 513 (Fla. 4th DCA 2002)
Wal-Mart stated that its maintenance personnel were mopping the floor at the time of the incident and had placed cones in the area.
The answer demonstrated that the store had knowledge of the dangerous condition. The case was allowed to go to trial.
Florida’s 4th DCA handled the appeal. It handles appeals from Palm Beach, Broward, St. Lucie, Martin, Indian River, and Okeechobee Counties. I assume that the slip and fall happened in one of those counties. This is because you usually have to sue Walmart in the county where the fall happened.
Learn more about slip and fall cases against Walmart in Florida.
Another actual knowledge example
Assume that a store employee puts a container in the middle of an aisle to collect water that is dripping from the ceiling. The store has actual notice of the container on the floor.
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