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According to Florida case law, a restaurant owner’s failure to make reasonable efforts to keep transitory foreign substances of the floor, such as napkins, is considered negligence:

We are further persuaded that the evidence of the defendant’s negligence was clear and obvious by a reading of section 768.0710(1), Florida Statutes (2004), which provides:

The person or entity in possession or control of business premises owes a duty of reasonable care to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition for the safety of business invitees on the premises, which includes reasonable efforts to keep the premises free from transitory foreign objects or substances that might foreseeably give rise to loss, injury, or damage.

This statute was enacted after Owens v. Publix Supermarkets, Inc., 802 So.2d 315, 331 (Fla.2001), in which our supreme court held “that the existence of a foreign substance on the floor of a business premises that causes a customer to fall and be injured is not a safe condition….” Thus, both the supreme court and the legislature agree that a business owner owes a duty to *119 its invitees to make reasonable efforts to keep transitory foreign substances off the floor, which would include napkins. Failure to do so would be negligence.

See: Izquierdo v. Gyroscope, Inc., 946 So. 2d 115 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 4th Dist. 2007)



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