FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE MOTION FOR REHEARING AND
DISPOSITION THEREOF IF FILED
from the Circuit Court for Brevard County, Stephen R. Koons,
G. King, of King Law Firm, Ocala, for Appellant.
Michael R. D'Lugo, of Wicker, Smith, O'Hara, McCoy
& Ford, P.A., Orlando, for Appellee.
Contardi, as the next friend of her minor daughter, B.C.,
timely appeals the final summary judgment rendered in favor
of Fun Town, LLC, in this negligence action. We affirm.
was injured at a roller-skating rink operated by Fun Town.
The injury occurred when B.C. attempted to step off the rink
and one of her skates got caught on the lip between the
skating rink floor and the floor of the building, causing her
to fall and break her leg.
filed suit on behalf of B.C., alleging that B.C. was an
invitee lawfully on the premises when she was injured as a
result of a hazardous and dangerous condition created by Fun
Town in having "an improper and unmarked change in
elevation between the skating rink floor and the
building's sub floor." Contardi further alleged that
Fun Town breached its duty of care owed to B.C. by failing to
warn her of this dangerous condition or otherwise to prevent
her from accessing this dangerous area of the skating rink.
Town answered the complaint; and, after deposing B.C., it
moved for final summary judgment. Relying on a photograph of
the step where B.C. fell as well as B.C.'s deposition,
which were both filed of record, Fun Town argued that the
difference in the floor levels where B.C. fell was open and
obvious, rather than inherently dangerous, and that it
therefore had no duty to warn B.C. of the change in elevation
between the rink and the building's floor. Fun Town also
noted that B.C. had testified in her deposition that during
this same visit, she had previously exited the rink onto the
building floor without incident, had no difficulty or
problems with her skates, and was looking ahead, and not at
the floor, when she tripped.
filed a response but presented no evidence in opposition to
the motion.The trial court granted Fun
Town's motion and entered final summary judgment, relying
on the Florida Supreme Court's decision in Casby v.
Flint, 520 So.2d 281, 282 (Fla. 1988) (holding that
"[m]ultiple floor levels . . . are not inherently
dangerous conditions. They are so commonplace that the
possibility of their existence is known to all. Warning of
such common conditions goes beyond the duty of reasonable
care owed to the invitee").Contardi argues on appeal that
Casby is inapposite because it involved a fall at a
residential, as opposed to a commercial, setting. She further
contends that disputed issues of fact exist because the
skating rink was "dark" and a "disco
light" was being used.
owner/occupier of land owes an invitee two duties: (1) to use
ordinary care in keeping the premises in a reasonably safe
condition; and (2) to give timely warning of latent or
concealed perils that are known or should be known by the
owner or occupier but that are not known to the invitee or
that by the exercise of due care, could not have been known
by the invitee. Aventura Mall Venture v. Olson, 561
So.2d 319, 320 (Fla. 3d DCA 1990). However, there is no duty
to warn an invitee of an obvious danger. See City of
Melbourne v. Dunn, 841 So.2d 504, 505 (Fla. 5th DCA
2003) ("An owner of land is not required to give an
invitee warning of an obvious danger, and is entitled to
assume an invitee will perceive something obvious.").
This duty does not change from a residential to a commercial
context. See Bowles v. Elkes Pontiac Co., 63 So.2d
769, 772 (Fla. 1952) (holding, in a negligence case against a
corporate defendant for injuries sustained by a plaintiff in
a fall in an automobile showroom, that "[i]t was the
duty of the invitee to see that which would be obvious to her
upon the ordinary use of her senses").
floor levels in public places, by themselves, do not
constitute latent, hidden, and dangerous conditions. See
id. ("It is a matter of general knowledge that
there are multiple steps in hotels, restaurants, storerooms
and other business establishments throughout Florida . . .
."); see also Hogan v. Chupka, 579 So.2d 395,
396 (Fla. 3d DCA 1991) (holding, in a negligence case against
a store, that a "change in floor levels alone generally
does not constitute a dangerous condition"). Dim
lighting does not transform an otherwise-obvious change in
floor elevation into a latent danger. See Casby, 520
So.2d at 282 ("[T]he amount of interior lighting cannot
transform a difference in floor levels into an inherently
dangerous condition." (quoting Schoen v.
Gilbert, 436 So.2d 75, 76 (Fla. 1983))). According to
her own deposition testimony, B.C. had earlier that visit
successfully exited the skating rink onto the floor under the
same lighting conditions that were present when she fell.
Because the uneven floor levels, even in dim lighting,
constituted an open and obvious danger, Fun Town had no duty
to warn B.C. of the difference in the levels between the rink
and the rest of the building floor.
while an obvious danger may discharge a landowner's duty
to warn, Fun Town still had a separate duty to maintain the
premises in a reasonably safe condition. See Middleton v.
Don Asher & Assocs., Inc., 262 So.3d 870, 872 (Fla.
5th DCA 2019). Contardi did not allege, argue, or present
evidence in opposition to Fun Town's summary judgment
motion that the condition of the lip or step where B.C. fell
was improperly maintained, in disrepair, or negligently
designed. See Landers v. Milton, 370 So.2d 368, 370
(Fla. 1979) ("A movant for summary judgment has the
initial burden of demonstrating the nonexistence of any
genuine issue of material fact. But once he tenders competent
evidence to support his motion, the opposing party must come
forward with counterevidence sufficient to reveal a ...