Complete Defense Verdict - Premises Liability - Miami-Dade County 

Miami Partners David Herrero and Ben Esco recently obtained a complete defense verdict after a 5-day premises liability trial in Miami-Dade County. The case involved a young female Plaintiff who attended her cousin's wedding at the Defendant's outdoor farm wedding venue. During the wedding, the Plaintiff sustained a fractured ankle when she tripped and fell in an alleged hole underneath one of the outdoor wedding tents. As a result of her fall, the Plaintiff underwent emergency ORIF surgery with hardware followed by two revision surgeries along with extensive pain management and therapy regimens. Prior to trial, the Plaintiff obtained a partial summary judgment ruling as to the Florida Building Code and Florida Fire Prevention Codes being applicable to the outdoor tent where the fall incident occurred due in-part to the Court’s ruling that the Defendant did not meet the requirements of being a bon-a-fide farm to be exempt from the codes pursuant to Florida’s Agritourism Statute.

During trial, the Defense denied the existence of any hole or other dangerous condition within their outdoor property and refuted the Plaintiff’s liability expert’s opinions as to the alleged location and existence of the alleged hole. On cross-examination of both the Plaintiff and Plaintiff’s liability expert, the Defense was able to show the jury that the location of the alleged hole was not the precise location of where the Plaintiff’s fall actually took place, which the Defense confirmed to be at least 50ft away based on photographs and other landmarks referenced within the Defendant’s property which were relied upon to accurately illustrate and measure the correct distances between the actual fall location and the area that the Plaintiff and her expert opined to be the fall area which had a 2.3 inch change in elevation. Once the Plaintiff rested, the Defense moved for a directed verdict as to the lack of evidence supporting the applicability of the Florida Building Code and Florida Fire Prevention Codes being applicable to the outdoor tent where the fall incident occurred, which the Court granted, overturning the prior partial MSJ ruling in effect. The Defense did not call any rebuttal experts at trial and did not refute causation of injury along with past and future medical treatment. In closing, the Plaintiff asked the jury for a minimum of just under $1m. After two hours of deliberation, the jury returned a complete defense verdict. There was also an expired PFS offered to the Plaintiff in the amount of $100k.

Our team is available to discuss the topics written here and ready to provide additional information contained in this article. Contact us for more information.

Jump to Page

Necessary Cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Analytical Cookies

Analytical cookies help us improve our website by collecting and reporting information on its usage. We access and process information from these cookies at an aggregate level.