As we have discussed in prior blog posts, property owners have a duty to keep people who come onto their property safe. Convenience businesses aren’t immune to that requirement. Convenience businesses face some very unique safety issues in part because of the hours they are usually open for business.
What is a convenience business?
A convenience business is defined by Florida law as a business that is open during the hours of 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. that sells groceries and gasoline or groceries. There are a few exceptions to this definition. One example is if the owner or owner’s family work the hours stated earlier. Other exemptions include those with at least 10,000 feet of retail space, a business that is primarily or solely a restaurant and one that always has at least five employees on duty during the 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. timeframe.
What special considerations do these businesses have?
Security is a big issue during those overnight hours. There are several security measures that are required by law for convenience businesses. A lighted parking lot that meets specific specifications, a security system that can record and retrieve images, height markers and no tinting on the windows that reduces visibility, as well as others meant primarily to keep employees safe.
If any of the security measures are missing from a convenience business, a patron who is injured might opt to seek compensation for that lack of proper security or inadequate lighting. Any case that has to do with these factors is considered a premises liability case. Understanding how to file a complaint regarding premises liability can help to make the process seem less daunting.
Source: Online Sunshine, “The 2011 Florida Statutes,” accessed Sep. 19, 2015