Construction Debris and Hazardous Conditions
According to Florida law, construction and demolition debris is considered to be any discarded materials that are either not water-soluble or may be found to be potentially hazardous. Examples of construction and demolition debris may include materials such as glass, bricks, steel, copper piping, lumber, concrete, gypsum wall board, asphalt roofing materials, rocks, soil, and even plant matter.
All construction and demolition debris must be removed from the site and properly disposed of. If left on a construction site, construction and demolition debris can create hazardous conditions for anyone who steps foot onto the site. If injury results from the hazardous condition, the property owner or possessor of the property may be held liable. If you find yourself in a situation where a person has injured themselves on your job site, it is highly suggested to seek the legal council of an experienced construction lawyer in Tampa.
Florida’s Premises Liability Laws
Under Florida’s premises liability laws, the property owner or possessor of the property has a duty to protect any person who enters the property from hazardous conditions by either removing/fixing the condition or giving warning of the existence of a hazardous condition. In some cases, this duty may extend to trespassers if the owner or land possessor knew or could reasonably foresee people entering the property without permission.
The Open and Obvious Danger Doctrine provides an exception to the duty of owners and possessors of the property to give warning of hazardous conditions required by premises liability laws. The doctrine states that property owners or possessors of property are not liable for failing to fix, remove, or give warning of hazardous conditions if the conditions are open and obvious to a reasonable person, because the condition could have been discovered and avoided just as easily as the owner or possessor of the property could give warning.
The courts have held that an owner or possessor of land is not liable for injuries to an invitee caused by open and obvious dangerous conditions. However, if the owner or possessor can and should foresee that such dangerous conditions will cause harm despite their obviousness, the owner or possessor may still be held liable.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.