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According to Florida case law, courts consider several factors including evidence of footprints, track marks, changes in consistency, drying of the liquid, and whether the substance was dirty or scuffed to determine how long a substance might have been present on the floor for constructive notice purposes in a slip-and-fall claim:

“In trying to assess how long a substance has been sitting on a floor, courts look to several factors, including *1279 ‘evidence of footprints, prior track marks, changes in consistency, [or] drying of the liquid.’ ” Torres v. Wal-Mart Stores E., L.P., 555 F. Supp. 3d 1276, 1283 (S.D. Fla. 2021) (quoting Palavicini v. Wal-Mart Stores E., L.P., 787 F.App’x 1007, 1012 (11th Cir. 2019)). They also consider if the “offending liquid” was “dirty” or “scuffed.” Id. (quoting Norman v. DCI Biologicals Dunedin, LLC, 301 So. 3d 425, 429 (Fla. 2d DCA 2020)).

Here, Appellant testified that she stepped in a large amount of liquid that was dirty, murky, and slimy. Because some substances have these features even before being spilled, courts have often held that this kind of evidence is not enough—by itself—to create a jury question on constructive knowledge. See Encarnacion, 211 So. 3d at 278 (holding that “[f]or such testimony to create a jury issue,” it “must be accompanied by a ‘plus,’ namely some additional fact or facts from which a jury can reasonably conclude that the substance was on the floor long enough to have become discolored without assuming other facts,” such as the liquid not being dirty or oily in its original condition)

See: Welch v. CHLN, Inc. – 357 So.3d 1277 (2023)


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