Premises liability revisited.

Author:Blecke, James C.
Position:Letters - Letter to the editor

Mr. Strickland's article, "Premises Liability Revisited" (Dec. 2014), reprises his 2009 viewpoint on Third District decisional law. I write again to point out continuing flaws.

The author cites the 1983 Admiral's Port Condominium decision as current Third District precedent. In 1985, the Third District limited Admirals Port to its facts, i.e., past violent crimes occurring "substantial distances away from the premises," and held:

[E]ven though by a stroke of good fortune a defendant's actual premises had not theretofore been the site of violent crime, the defendant could nonetheless foresee its likelihood based upon the fact that his surrounding and immediate neighbors had a substantial history of being victimized by such crime.

Lomillo v. Howard Johnsons, 471 So. 2d 1296, 1297 (Fla. 3d DCA 1985).

Mr. Strickland critiques Lomillo: "While the Third District once allowed nearby off-premises crimes into evidence, it is an older decision that does not reflect the current approach of multiple other decisions." Mr. Strickland cites the 1983 Admiral's Port decision as the current approach, yet dismisses as antiquated the 1985 clarification of Admiral's Port.

The author also cites Ameijeiras, a 1988 decision, as holding off-premises crime irrelevant. A fair reading of the opinion reveals several things. First, off premises crime is nowhere mentioned in the opinion. That is because Aneijeiras was basing foreseeability entirely on the assertion, "homosexual activity, illicit drug dealing and arson attempts had occurred in the park...." The Third District held these nonviolent crimes, standing alone, were not harbingers of the attempted robbery and shooting of Mr. Aneijeiras...

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