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Douglas & Douglas Jacksonville Personal Injury Lawyer
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Woman Files Personal Injury Lawsuit After Accident In Flooded Sawgrass Mills Parking Lot


You can’t sue Mother Nature, although, if anyone would be inclined to try, it would be Floridians.  Not only is Florida known for its extreme weather, where every summer afternoon has a booming thunderstorm except for when tropical storm force winds, or even higher, last all day and all night.  Furthermore, as everyone who follows Florida Man news knows, the matters on which Floridian judges rule are more unconventional than the ones on which the courts in other jurisdictions rule.  Extreme weather is so normal in Florida that local governments and business owners are well-versed in the safety measures required to prevent accidental injuries during inclement weather events.  Premises liability laws apply when business owners fail to protect customers by enabling dangerous conditions to persist on the property.  If you got injured in a preventable accident at a place of business during one of Florida’s epic storms, contact a Jacksonville premises liability lawyer.

Car Sinks in Ditch in Flooded Mall Parking Lot

In June 2017, a rainstorm in Broward County dropped more than a foot of rain, leading to widespread flooding.  After the storm, Breania White drove her Ford Fiesta to the Home Depot at the Sawgrass Mills mall in Sunrise.  She turned to park in what she thought was a row of parking spaces with the lines obscured with floodwater, but it turned out to be a ditch.  Her car started to sink, and she was able to climb out of the car and swim to safety.  Later that day, she began to suffer respiratory symptoms, as well as a sharp pain in her neck.  Two days after the accident, she went to the emergency room, where she was diagnosed with a pinched nerve in her neck and pneumonia.

White sued Simon Property Group, the shopping mall management company that operates Sawgrass Mills, for premises liability, alleging that the company was negligent in making it difficult for visitors to see where the ditch was and easy for them to drive into it.  For example, the ditch should have been marked with permanent signs, or even temporary ones used only during flood conditions.  The company also could have prevented the accident by placing orange cones to indicate the areas of the parking lot where it was safe to park.  She is seeking compensatory damages for her medical expenses and for the repairs to her vehicle.  Since the initial report about the lawsuit was published, no other details have become public.  In order to receive a ruling in her favor, White must prove that her pneumonia and pinched nerve are the direct result of climbing out of the car and swimming through the floodwaters.  Most personal injury lawsuits, including premises liability lawsuits, settle without going to trial.

Contact Douglas & Douglas About Premises Liability Cases

A North Florida personal injury lawyer can help you if you suffered serious injuries at a shopping mall or its parking lot.  Contact Douglas & Douglas in Jacksonville, Florida for a free consultation.


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