Premises Liability

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Premises Liability

Property owners have a non-delegable duty to make their premises safe for persons whom they expressly or impliedly invite thereon. Whether it is a residential home or a commercial property, such as an apartment complex, hotel, school, shopping mall or strip center, if injury or death occurs there, the victim and/or their family may file a lawsuit against the property owners, property managers, homeowners’ association or condominium association.

Property owners also have a duty to warn about dangerous conditions of which they know or should know in the exercise of reasonable care. When someone enters a property, whether it is a small plaza or a large mall, they expect their safety to be a priority and property owners and managers are required to take reasonable measures for the safety and security of the public. Dangerous conditions can range from tripping hazards, unstable structures, rip currents at their beach, and crime. Property owners may try to argue that the person who was injured knew of the dangerous conditions, was negligent, or assumed the riskin an attempt to shift responsibility for the occurrence onto the injured person in order to devalue the claim.

If you or a loved one was injured (or worse) on another’s property, Lewis Legal Group may be able to help. We will work diligently to investigate and demonstrate that the danger and cause of the injuries waspresent due to the property owner’s negligence.

Attorney Jeannete Lewis has over 25 years of experience in handling every aspect of premises liability and personal injury cases. Proper and early investigation is key, even while criminal investigation remains pending. While nothing can give you your health or loved one back, Jeannete Lewis knows how most efficiently to uncover and develop the facts necessary to produce the greatest opportunity for as successful an outcome that our civil justice system can bring.

Notable cases include:

Martinisi v. Unnamed Medical Center – $4 Million Settlement
A toddler with cerebral palsy was receiving treatment inside a hyperbaric chamber accompanied by his grandmother when a fire erupted inside the chamber at a time when it was pressurized and filled with 100% oxygen.By the time the chamber could be opened, both were burned over 90% of their bodies. The grandmother died later that day and the little boy lingered for 40 days as doctors and family tried to save him. Wrongful death suits were brought on behalf of the parents of the minor child and daughters of the grandmother against the owner of the building and operator of the medical facility for negligence in, among other things, allowing a dangerous condition on the property – to wit 40 year old hyperbaric chambers that had been improperly retrofitted to accommodate speakers and that were not grounded properly. Claims also were made against a separately incorporated medical operation doing business in the same building on an agency theory, — specifically, that they were engaged in a joint venture with the hyperbaric chamber operator in enticing foreigners to bring their children here to Florida for a combination of hyperbaric treatment provided by the one and followed by specialized therapy and gadgets to help CP patients gain mobility, by the other. The matters were settled separately for the above-referenced combined amount.

Juarez v. ABC Condominium Association and Property Mgmt. Co., – $1 Million settlement
Property manager for a 5 story condominium hired her boyfriend’s unlicensed painting company to paint the exterior of the building. Painting company hired Mr. Juarez and provided him with paint, rollers, and scaffolding. While on scaffolding near the top of the building, Mr. Juarez contacted energized FP&L lines with his metal painting pole and was electrocuted and died. A wrongful death lawsuit was filed against the painting company, the property management company and condominium association. The theory of liability against the property manager was that she hired a company that was not qualified to do the work and as against the building, that it was an unsafe premises given its proximity to high powered and energized FP&L lines that had not been insulated or shut down prior to the painting work. Mr. Juarez was survived by his wife and one minor child, with one child in utero at the time of his death. $1 Million was the policy limits.

Estate of Reiner v. Unnamed Palm Beach County Hotel – $700,000 Settlement
Dr. Reiner drowned in a rip current. He was an experienced swimmer who was otherwise in good health. He was visiting Palm Beach County from Slovakia for the purpose of attending a medical function and was staying at a hotel that had an associated private beach. One morning while there, and noting no red caution flags or other warnings, he went into the ocean to swim and was caught in a rip current which he did not expect and did not know how to get out of. The life-guard on premises extricated Dr. Reiner who had gone into cardiac arrest. However, the hotel was not equipped with readily accessible oxygen administering devices or an external defibrillator. Dr. Reiner died, leaving behind a wife and daughter.