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Articles Posted in Premise Liability

A 12-year-old girl and adult woman are both recovering after suffering injuries in a shooting at an apartment complex in Miami-Dade County on August 17, 2021. A South Florida’s Local 10 News article recounted what transpired and how the innocent bystanders were hurt as they were caught in the crossfire of a possible gang dispute. According to the Opa-locka Police Department, a fight erupted in an intersection near the apartment building and its on-site playground. Several gunmen fired their weapons before fleeing the scene, injuring the girl who was playing in the outdoor space. Another shot broke the window in one of the apartment units, causing injuries to the woman. 

Police were able to make an arrest after reviewing surveillance video, so having the identity of the offender would enable victims to proceed with legal action to recover monetary damages. However, the circumstances indicate that these individuals may also have other legal options. While you can rely on a Miami crime victims lawyer to provide details about liability in a shooting, some answers to common questions may help.

Can I pursue the shooter? If you suffered injuries after being shot, you can definitely proceed to take legal action against the wrongdoer. The problem is that this person may be imprisoned if convicted of a crime, a phenomenon referred to in the legal field as being “judgment proof”: You cannot collect damages from someone who has no income or assets to satisfy the judgment, which is often the case with someone in prison. It is still possible to recover, but the challenges are considerable.

What should have been a balmy seaside morning in Miami quickly turned to chaos, confusion, and horror on June 24, 2021 as a 12 story, 130 unit condominium Champlain Condominium building suddenly collapsed. Miami’s NBC affiliate News Channel 6 covered the incident, with at least one witness describing the Champlain Towers South Condo as falling flat like a pancake into a pile of rubble. First responders arrived from Miami Beach and Miami-Dade County  to assist with the search and rescue effort which will continue and be followed by a thorough investigation. The level of mass destruction demands a meticulous probe into how such a tragedy could happen.


The focus right now is on search and rescue, helping survivors, helping displaced residents and comforting families. In time, victims and their family members will want to understand their legal rights and remedies.  Many of the issues will revolve around Florida premises liability concepts, potential violations of the Florida Building Code, and other details which will depend upon the results of officials’ investigation. At Gerson and Schwartz, our hearts go out to all victims and those affected. We continue to investigate and gather information. Still, here is a summary of the information available now.


Updated Facts on the Champlain Condo Building Collapse in Surfside

Amid both fanfare and controversy, a recent anti-riot bill was passed by Florida lawmakers and signed into law on April 19, 2021. NBC Miami News Channel 6 outlined some of the key points of the Combating Public Disorder Act, which aims to crack down on violent, unlawful misconduct stemming from civil unrest. Proponents have argued that the new law protects businesses and supports law enforcement when peaceful protests turn into physical aggression and illegal criminal activity. Opponents contend that the anti-riot law disproportionately affects minorities and amounts to racism, in addition to being a restriction on First Amendment free speech rights.

Regardless of your view of the anti-riot statute in Florida, there are implications that you may not expect if you are pursuing a negligent property owner after being injured. One provision may benefit your claim, while another imposes significant limitations on your legal rights. Your Miami premises liability attorney can describe the implications, but an overview of the anti-riot law may be helpful.

The GOOD: Elimination of a key barrier to civil claims. Government bodies and agencies enjoy sovereign immunity, a legal concept that provides these entities with protection from civil lawsuits. For instance, you typically cannot sue the City of Miami if you slip and fall on municipal property. The anti-riot bill strips sovereign immunity from any government body that interferes with law enforcement in protecting the public during civil unrest. In other words, you could sue Miami if the city defunds the police, and you were subsequently hurt during a riot.

While it may not be a place where you shop often, there is a good chance that you visit a South Florida convenience store from time to time for gas, a quick snack, lottery tickets, or other basics. Unfortunately, these spots can be a target for various forms of criminal activity. The 24×7 hours, limited number of employees, availability of cash, and other factors can make these stores dangerous for customers. If you are familiar with basic laws regarding premises liability, you may know that it is possible to pursue a convenience store owner for monetary damages under the theory of negligent security.

However, what you do not know is that Florida law has carved out an exception for property owners when their premises constitute a convenience store under the statutory definition. Your Miami premises liability attorney can explain the details and assist with your case, but some information on the legal issues may be helpful.

Overview of Premises Liability and Negligent Security

Florida Justice Association
The National Center for Victims of Crime
outh Florida Legal Guide
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