Florida Law Weekly August 9, 2013
Publix Supermarkets Inc. v. Marisol Santos, (3d DCA): In this slip and fall case, Publix filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari to quash the Trial Court’s discovery order that instructed Publix to provide the plaintiff with all incident reports and information relative to any similar occurrences in Publix stores throughout the State of Florida. The Appellate Court granted the Petition and quashed the Order, finding that the discovery request provided the plaintiff with carte blanche access to irrelevant discovery. The case involved an incident where the plaintiff allegedly slipped on “old wet spinach or some other transitory substance.” The plaintiff sought discovery of all slip and fall incidents at the specific store where she fell for all dates three years prior to her accident. After being advised by Publix that no other similar incidents occurred at that store, she sought to depose a Publix representative and requested information regarding all incidents relative to any similar incidents over the same time frame at any Publix store in the State of Florida. Publix moved for a protective order, contending that pursuant to the standards set forth in Fla. Stat. 768.0755, it did not have to produce all of this information because it was not necessary for the plaintiff’s case. The Trial Court disagreed.
The Appellate Court quashed the Trial Court’s Order. In doing so, it concluded that pursuant to Fla. Stat. 768.0755, (which requires the Plaintiff to prove actual and/or constructive notice of the dangerous condition), the information sought by the plaintiff was not required to establish her case. The Appellate Court specifically stated that the Florida legislature, in enacting Fla. Stat. 760.0755, required plaintiffs to establish notice with respect to the “business establishment” where the incident occurred.