Asked 5 months ago - Stuart, FLFlag
My girlfriend got injured at a restaurant when a waitress dropped a glass on our table and it shattered. My girlfriend got glass in her eye & had to go to the hospital. Now she is stuck with the med bills & thinks the restaurant should pay but the manager told her that the restaurant was not liable because another patron bumped the waitress which caused the accident. Even if someone else bumped into the waitress, isn't the restaurant still liable for my girlfriend's medical bills?
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Florida is a comparative negligence state. The negligence of the patron who bumped the waitress will appear on the verdict form whether or not that patron is added to the lawsuit as a defendant. So if the patron who bumped the waitress is found by the jury to be completely or mostly responsible for causing the waitress to drop the glass (which seems likely) your girlfriend's recoverable damages would be reduced by the percentage of the other patron's negligence. As an example, if the other patron is 95% responsible for the waitress dropping the glass, your girlfriend will recover only 5% of her damages.
The restaurant is not liable just because the accident happened at the restaurant. The restaurant is not liable just because the waitress dropped the class and injured your girlfriend.
The restaurant might have medical payments insurance which might be a portion of your girlfriend's medical bills regardless of fault. Ask that question when the restaurant's risk manager calls you.
Maybe. More than likely, if this went to Court, you would sue the restaurant, and the restaurant would then bring in the other patron as a co-defendant or third-party defendant. Or you could sue both the restaurant and the other patron. It may come down to whether the restaurant/waitress failed to take action to prevent the injury, or otherwise acted negligently.
If the waitress was not at fault in causing the glass to break, why would there be liability on the waitress or restaurant? If the waitress contributed in part to causing the glass to break due to some breach of duty owed to you (negligence), then the restaurant would have liability.
I suggest that you find out if this restaurant carried Medical Payments coverage on their commercial liability policy. Medical Payments coverage will pay for injuries sustained on the premises, regardless of legal liability.
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Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
Your girlfriend should contact a local injury lawyer for a free consult. There, she can provide all the details of the event.
Keep in mind that just because one is injured on commercial property, i.e. in a store, in a restaurant, etc., does not mean that establishment is liable for the injuries. In Florida, the injury victim needs to prove negligence with actual evidence.
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