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DEFENDANT’S Premises Liability –Hazardous Premises – Alleged dangerous sign stump protruding from a Miami-Dade County sidewalk – Bicycle strikes sign – Torn rotator cuff.

Miami-Dade County, FL

The plaintiff was a man in his 40s who was riding a bicycle on a sidewalk maintained by the defendant, Miami-Dade County. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant negligently allowed a dangerous condition on the sidewalk in the form of a sign stump, which the plaintiff struck with his bicycle. The defendant argued that the plaintiff was under the influence of alcohol, and was looking behind him at the time of the collision. The defense also denied notice of the missing sign, and contended that it had no duty to inspect for such conditions.

The plaintiff testified that he glanced behind him momentarily and then his bicycle struck the sign stump, which was protruding from the sidewalk. He was thrown from his bicycle and alleged that he sustained a non-surgical rotator cuff tear and multiple soft tissue injuries.

The plaintiff denied that he was drinking alcohol before the accident, however, medical records showed that health care providers had noted the smell of alcohol on his breath, and he admitted to nurses that he had consumed a “few drinks” on the day of the accident. In addition, the defense introduced other records – including fire rescue reports – indicating that the plaintiff had been found under the influence of alcohol on prior and subsequent occasions.

The defendant asserted that it reasonably relied on complaints, regarding missing signs, and that it had no knowledge that the sign in question was missing. In addition, the defense contended that the plaintiff’s claimed rotator cuff tear was not related to the bicycle accident, and that he had made a prior workers’ compensation claim for shoulder injury.The jury found no negligence on the part of the defendant, which was a legal cause of injury to the plaintiff, and therefore did not need to reach the question regarding intoxication. The plaintiff’s motion for new trial is currently pending. The defendant filed a proposal for settlement in the amount of $________.

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