The phrase “premises liability” is generally associated with slip and falls or shoddy construction. However, premises liability can extend to a wide variety of other types of dangerous conditions. For instance, the Second District Court of Appeal recently rendered judgment in Grover v. Karl, which addressed whether a business owner could be liable for a patron’s injuries arising from a bar fight.
Grover started with a fight at The Karl Reef, which is located near New Port Richie, Florida. The plaintiff did not participate in the fight, but she fell and was injured during the course of events. The plaintiff brought a premises liability suit against the bar’s alleged owner and property owner. The bar’s manager was near the plaintiff when the fight ensued. The facts regarding how the plaintiff fell were unclear. The plaintiff originally alleged that she fell when a different bar patron intentionally attacked her. However, during her deposition, the plaintiff testified that when the fight broke out, the manager was shoved and, as a result, fell onto the plaintiff unintentionally. Following discovery, the defendant moved for summary judgment, contending that the allegations in the complaint were contradicted by the deposition testimony, and there was no issue of material fact regarding the defendant’s notice of the danger or an opportunity to prevent it. Following the defendants’ motion for summary judgment, the plaintiff moved to amend her complaint. The proposed amended complaint sought to add the bar’s manager as a defendant and change the allegations so that they were more consistent with the deposition testimony. Specifically, the plaintiff sought to allege that the manager grabbed her arm and jostled her during the fight, resulting in the fall. The trial court granted summary judgment based on the original complaint and denied the plaintiff leave to amend. The plaintiff appealed.