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Florida Second DCA reverses trial court's entry of summary judgment for premise liability defendants, finding disputed issue of fact existed regarding constructive notice

On March 29, 2017, in McNabb v. Bay Village Club Condominium Association, No. 2D15-5613, the Florida Second DCA reversed the trial court’s entry of summary judgment for premise liability defendants in a slip and fall case, finding that a disputed issue of fact existed regarding whether the defendants had constructive notice of a dangerous condition, an oil spill in a hallway outside the elevator on the ground floor of a condominium building. The defendants had argued that there was no evidence regarding how long the oil had been in the hallway. The plaintiff presented an affidavit from a mechanical engineer that based on the depth of the oil in the machine room where the leak originated, the oil had been leaking for between four and a half and eighteen days prior to the incident. The trial court discounted the engineer’s opinion because he was not an elevator expert and because of alleged inconsistencies in the expert’s affidavit, the latter finding determined by the Second DCA found to be erroneous. The Second DCA also noted that in ruling on a summary judgment motion a trial court is precluded from weighing witness credibility and speculating about the nonmoving party’s chance of success.

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