Most of the time it is very difficult for a Fort Lauderdale, Florida food or convenience store to have actual knowledge of the existence of a foreign substance on its floors.
The effort and expense to insure perfection for actual notice would render such an objective overwhelmingly expensive and therefore by definitions an “unreasonable duty of care.” Considering the vast number of shoppers that enter a grocery store or supermarket such as Florida’s Publix or Winn Dixie or Albertsons or Sedanos or Whole Foods Market, would almost require hiring an employee or safety investigator to follow each and every shopper throughout the store and virtually throw themselves upon the first sign of something being dropped on the floor to insure and avoid all slip and fall injuries.
In addition, even if the task was assigned to video surveillance there could be a delay from the moment the incident occurs where the food or liquid or detergent hits the ground – and clean up occurs, that still would not prevent a slip and fall accident from occurring. And based upon surveillance videos that we have reviewed and what the risk managers from these various supermarkets tell us, the video quality is too poor to actually detect whether something is suddenly appearing on the ground.
Therefore, it only made sense that the law would assign the reasonable duty to all property owners to conduct reasonable inspections and to either have actual knowledge or notice such as if another patron reports something on the floor or as what it is referred to in the law as “constructive notice.”