Woman Sues SeaWorld for Her Injuries
On April 18, 2018, a woman filed a complaint in Orange County Circuit Court naming SeaWorld of Florida as a defendant in her personal injury lawsuit. The woman had been injured while visiting SeaWorld and sought to hold the company legally liable for her injuries. The lawsuit is just the latest reminder that businesses owe their visitors a duty to the keep the premises safe, and that they can be sued when they breach that duty.
According to the complaint filed by Carmen Hernandez, the plaintiff visited SeaWorld as a customer on May 17, 2014. During her visit, she slipped and tripped on poorly maintained flooring, which resulted in her injuries. Hernandez alleges that she endured pain and suffering and incurred medical expenses to treat her injuries. She also claims that a pre-existing injury was aggravated in the fall.
Turning to SeaWorld’s liability, Hernandez alleges that SeaWorld did not warn visitors like her of the dangerous condition. She further alleges that SeaWorld failed to train employees so that they could properly inspect and maintain the floors.
In her complaint, Hernandez sought a jury trial and more than $15,000 in damages. A court date has not been scheduled.
A Business’ Duty to its Customers
SeaWorld, like all businesses, owes its customers a duty to keep the premises reasonably safe by fixing known hazards or warning customers of them. When a business fails to discharge this duty—and when a customer is injured as a result—the business can be sued in court.
Of course, whether Ms. Hernandez is successful will depend on the evidence she can present on her behalf. To prevail in her negligence case, she will need to introduce evidence of the following:
- She was a business visitor to whom SeaWorld owed a duty of care.
- SeaWorld’s conduct was insufficiently careful.
- She suffered injuries.
- SeaWorld’s actions caused the injuries.
In this case, the first, third, and fourth elements should be fairly easy for Ms. Hernandez to prove. For example, she can show an admissions ticket to establish she was a customer, and she can use medical records to show her injuries. With respect to the fourth element—causation—she might need a medical expert to connect the fall to her injuries, especially since she acknowledges she had a pre-existing injury.
The case will probably hinge on whether SeaWorld was aware of problems with the floors and whether they adequately addressed those problems and/or warned visitors of them. This is a facts-and-circumstances analysis which will look at the condition of the flooring and what SeaWorld did to make it safer.
Contact a Daytona Beach Slip and Fall Lawyer
Slip and fall injuries can cause tens of thousands of dollars—or more—in medical bills and lost wages. Injured victims also frequently struggle with debilitating pain which also warrants compensation. For help analyzing whether you have a claim against a business, you should schedule a free consultation with a Daytona Beach slip and fall attorney. Contact Bundza & Rodriguez today.