Although news reports do not detail exactly why the judge dismissed the claim, we do know that Ross had described the allegations as “vague.”
The alleged victim stated the incident occurred in December 2011 at a residence owned by Ross and his mother. Victim stated there was iron hardware that was left at ground level. Specifically, there was a rail on the ground connected to an iron rail at the rear of the property.
Plaintiff reportedly sustained severe injuries, suffered disfigurement and endured pain and suffering as a result of the fall. Plaintiff sought in excess of $15,000 in damages.
Ross and his mother told the court they were not at the home at the time of the alleged fall because the property was occupied by tenants.
Although we don’t know the grounds on which the judge dismissed the case, we do know that landlords can and often are held liable for injuries suffered by tenants and also guests of tenants.
Under Chapter 83 of Florida Statutes, we know that residential landlords have a host of duties of care owed to the tenant and others who are lawfully on that property. Those duties include:
- Making sure the property is up to applicable health codes;
- Making sure the property is reasonably maintained;
- Addressing any dangerous animal concerns on the property;
- Ensuring the property is reasonably secure.
If an injury results from a violation of this act, it will serve to bolster a plaintiff’s case for damages.
The other issue in premises liability cases was whether the property owner has sufficient notice of a problem (actual notice). If not, plaintiff may still be able to prove the case by asserting that if property owner had been using reasonable care, he or she would have discovered the dangerous condition (constructive notice).
So for example, if a tenant notifies a landlord that there is a broken stair or lighting issue that poses a fall risk, that’s actual notice. If the landlord doesn’t do anything about it and someone gets hurt, the landlord could be held responsible to pay those damages. On the other hand, let’s say no one told the landlord about the stairway issue, but he or she hasn’t been to the building in two years and the place has fallen into general disrepair. If someone is injured as a result of a dangerous condition on that property, one could make an argument that had the landlord exercised reasonable care, the dangerous condition would have been discovered and he or she would have had an obligation to address it.
In a case like this, plaintiff would need to show the defendant had a duty to keep that particular part of the property in good condition, the property was not in good condition, it was foreseeable that someone would get injured as a result, the danger wasn’t obvious to the victim and the condition directly caused the injury.
If you have questions about pursuing compensation for your recent Fort Lauderdale personal injury, contact our offices today.
Call Fort Lauderdale Injury Attorney Richard Ansara at (954) 761-4011. Serving Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.
Florida Judge Rules in Rock Ross Case Where Woman Claims She Was Injured at Rapper’s Home, Jan. 15, 2016, By Soren Baker, Hip Hop DX
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