Competitive Softball Promotions vs. Yasser Ayub
Yasser Ayub is a member of a softball team that participated in a softball tournament hosted by Competitive Softball Promotions or CSP. The softball tournament was held on softball fields at a public park owned by Miami-Dade County.
Although CSP paid Miami-Dade County for the right to use their softball fields, the park features common areas, outside of the rented fields and dugouts, that are open to the public. On the morning of the tournament, Ayub’s softball team became involved in a heated argument with another team. As a result, the umpire asserted that both teams forfeited the game.
Later that evening, another fight arose between members of the two teams in the common area of the park. While attempting to stop the fight, Ayub sustained an injury. The fight finally came to an end when the police arrived.
Ayub Filed a Premises Liability Claim Against CSP
Ayub filed a premises liability claim against CSP, alleging that CSP had a duty to keep its business visitors safe. He explained that CSP breached this duty because they failed to provide adequate security. CSP responded to Ayub by stating that they did not have a duty to provide security in the common area where the fight took place because they had no control of the area.
CSP Filed a Renewed Motion for a Directed Verdict
After hearing the arguments at trial, the jury reached a verdict in favor of Ayub and against CSP for $319, 914.71. Shortly after, CSP filed a renewed motion for a directed verdict and explained that Ayub failed to establish that CSP controlled the premises on which Ayub was injured and thus CSP owed no legal duty to Ayub. The motion was denied by the trial court and an appeal followed.
CSP Was Not at Fault
The trial court made a mistake by denying CSP’s motion for a directed verdict. According to the record, CSP had no control over the common areas of the public park and therefore, had no duty to provide adequate security to protect its visitors. Due to the fact that Ayub’s injury occurred in the common area, CSP’s liability cannot be proven. The trial court’s order denying CSP’s motion for a directed verdict was denied.
How to Prove Fault in a Premises Liability Claim
There are three distinct factors that need to be proven in order to demonstrate fault in a premises liability case. These factors include:
- Duty of Care: A premises liability claim cannot move forward if the plaintiff is unable to prove the defendant was responsible for creating a safe condition at the time and place in which their injury took place.
- Breach of Duty: Once duty of care has been established, the plaintiff must show that the defendant failed in that duty through carelessness or negligence.
- Causation of the Injury: Finally, the plaintiff must prove that the breach of duty caused their injury.
In CSP vs. Yasser Ayub, the first element, duty of care was not proven. Since CSP had no control over the common areas of the public park, they did not have the duty to provide adequate security to its visitors.
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