Big corporations are always complaining about frivolous lawsuits, however, many times they beg for a lawsuit to be filed against them. Let me tell you a frequent occurrence when dealing with Corporate America. A customer receives severe injuries in a Florida slip and fall accident on a business property. An investigation of the scene shows that there are video cameras in the area. Under Florida law, video surveillance of an accident is discoverable, that means that the injured person’s attorney will get the video if a lawsuit is filed.
The injured person notifies the corporation that he intends to bring a claim for his injuries. The insurance adjuster calls and says that he reviewed a video of the incident and the video shows that his business did nothing wrong, and it was the customer’s fault. The injured person’s lawyer asks to see a copy of the video and explains that if the video shows what the adjuster says it shows, she will explain to the injured person that nothing can be done.
Under Florida law a business is required to keep their property in a reasonably safe condition. Just because a person is hurt on somebody’s property does not make the property owner responsible. There has to be a problem that causes a “dangerous condition”.
The insurance adjuster says No to the attorney’s request. Now isn’t that silly? I mean if the video shows what the adjuster says it showed, why wouldn’t she turn it over?
So now, the injured person’s lawyer is going to have to file a lawsuit, which costs money and takes up the court’s time. The corporation is going to have to hire a lawyer to defend the lawsuit, which will cost money. The corporation will resist turning over the video immediately, which will cost more money and take up precious court time.
Eventually, the injured person and his attorney will be able to see the video. It may be months! It may take a year!
Why do I share this information with you? So you understand how Corporate America works and how silly these things can be. So, the next time the chamber of commerce or a corporation complains about so called frivolous lawsuits – ask – WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST TURN OVER THE VIDEO?
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