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Senate Bill 1654

Senate Bill sb1654

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.
    Florida Senate - 2004                                  SB 1654

    By Senator Bennett





    21-938A-04

  1                      A bill to be entitled

  2         An act relating to negligence actions; creating

  3         s. 768.0706, F.S.; providing limitations on

  4         premises liability for a person or organization

  5         owning or controlling an interest in specified

  6         commercial real property; creating a

  7         presumption against liability; providing

  8         conditions for the presumption; amending s.

  9         768.81, F.S.; redefining the term "negligence

10         cases" for the purpose of apportioning damages

11         in actions involving comparative fault to

12         include actions for damages based upon the

13         commission of an intentional tort; providing an

14         effective date.

15  

16  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:

17  

18         Section 1.  Section 768.0706, Florida Statutes, is

19  created to read:

20         768.0706  Limitation on premises liability; business

21  other than a convenience business.--

22         (1)  If, as a matter of law, a judge determines that at

23  least six of the following eight provisions of this section

24  are met, there shall be a presumption that a person or

25  organization owning or controlling an interest in commercial

26  real property, other than a convenience store, has fulfilled

27  any duty to provide adequate security for invitees, guests,

28  and other members of the public against any criminal act that

29  occurs on the premises and that is committed by a third party

30  who is not an employee or agent of the person or organization

31  

                                  1

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.






    Florida Senate - 2004                                  SB 1654
    21-938A-04




 1  owning or controlling the interest in commercial real

 2  property:

 3         (a)  Signs are prominently posted in the parking lot

 4  and other public places on the premises indicating the hours

 5  of normal business operations and the general security

 6  measures provided.

 7         (b)  The parking lot, public walkways, and public

 8  building entrances and exits are illuminated at an intensity

 9  of at least 2 foot-candles per square foot at 18 inches above

10  the surface of the ground, pavement, or walkway.

11         (c)  Training in crime prevention, with a curriculum

12  approved by a local law enforcement agency or the Department

13  of Legal Affairs, is provided to all nonmanagement employees.

14  To satisfy the requirements of this paragraph, an individual

15  employed on October 1, 2004, must receive the training by

16  October 1, 2005. Any other employee must receive the training

17  within 120 days after employment. A person is not liable for

18  the ordinary negligence of an employee implementing the

19  approved curriculum if the employee has completed the

20  training. A state or local law enforcement agency is not

21  liable for the contents of an approved curriculum.

22         (d)  Security cameras are installed, maintained, and

23  monitored which cover each public building entrance and exit

24  and at least one-half of the parking lot. Cameras must operate

25  during business hours and for at least 30 minutes after the

26  close of business.

27         (e)  An emergency call box linked to a law enforcement

28  agency, a private security agency, or a security guard or

29  other agent on the premises is maintained and available within

30  150 feet of any location in the parking lot or other public

31  place on the premises.

                                  2

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                  SB 1654
    21-938A-04




 1         (f)  A licensed security guard is on duty at the time

 2  of the criminal occurrence and is either monitoring

 3  surveillance cameras or patrolling the premises with such

 4  frequency that each area of the parking lot and other public

 5  places on the premises are observed by the guard at not more

 6  than 15-minute intervals.

 7         (g)  Fencing is installed and maintained which

 8  surrounds the parking lot and buildings and limits pedestrian

 9  entry onto the premises from public walkways.

10         (h)  A public address system is installed and

11  maintained which is capable of reaching all public places on

12  the premises.

13         (2)  A person or organization owning or controlling an

14  interest in commercial real property, other than a convenience

15  business, which is located in an enterprise zone designated

16  under s. 290.0065 is immune from liability in connection with

17  any criminal act that occurs on the premises and that is

18  committed by a third party who is not an employee or agent of

19  the person or organization owning or controlling the interest

20  in commercial property if the person or organization complies

21  with six or more of the eight conditions described in

22  paragraphs (1)(a)-(h) and if the person or organization does

23  not engage in gross negligence or intentional misconduct that

24  permits or invites the commission of the criminal act.

25         (3)  For purposes of subsection (1) or subsection (2),

26  failure to implement six or more of the measures described in

27  paragraphs (1)(a)-(h) does not create a presumption of

28  liability.

29         Section 2.  Subsection (4) of section 768.81, Florida

30  Statutes, is amended to read:

31         768.81  Comparative fault.--

                                  3

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    Florida Senate - 2004                                  SB 1654
    21-938A-04




 1         (4)  APPLICABILITY.--

 2         (a)  This section applies to negligence cases.  For

 3  purposes of this section, "negligence cases" includes, but is

 4  not limited to, civil actions for damages based upon theories

 5  of negligence, strict liability, products liability,

 6  professional malpractice whether couched in terms of contract

 7  or tort, or breach of warranty and like theories, and

 8  negligence actions for damages based upon an intentional tort,

 9  including an intentional tort involving criminal conduct. In

10  determining whether a case falls within the term "negligence

11  cases," the court shall look to the substance of the action

12  and not the conclusory terms used by the parties.

13         (b)  This section does not apply to any action brought

14  by any person to recover actual economic damages resulting

15  from pollution, to any action based upon an intentional tort,

16  or to any cause of action as to which application of the

17  doctrine of joint and several liability is specifically

18  provided by chapter 403, chapter 498, chapter 517, chapter

19  542, or chapter 895.

20         Section 3.  This act shall take effect October 1, 2004,

21  and applies to claims filed on or after that date.

22  

23            *****************************************

24                          SENATE SUMMARY

25    Provides limitations on premises liability for a person
      or organization owning or controlling an interest in
26    commercial real property other than a convenience
      business. Creates a presumption against liability.
27    Provides conditions for the presumption. Revises the
      definition of the term "negligence cases" for the purpose
28    of apportioning damages to include actions for damages
      based upon the commission of an intentional tort.
29  

30  

31  

                                  4

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.

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