Deck Safety

Florida is famous for having restaurants, bars and piers that jut out into the water and provide a great view. Tourists and residents flock to these establishments and structures to enjoy such activities as the following:

  • Celebrating major life occasions
  • Attending sporting events with other fans
  • Dining or having drinks at sunset

Unfortunately, a lot of restaurants and bars are decaying in salt water that erodes their concrete bases and steel rods and can ultimately lead to a collapse.

Although the South Florida Building Code has stopped the building of decks over open water, many older places are grandfathered in, which means that they are allowed to continue to exist. A review of commercial properties is required after 40 years and then after every decade, but deck inspections often fall by the wayside. In addition, 40 years may be a long time for a deck to be in the water, and deterioration may occur long before that passage of time.

Last year, a deck collapsed at a Shuckers Bar and Grill in North Bay Village on Biscayne Bay. Approximately 100 patrons who were visiting the establishment during a Miami Heat game were plunged into the water when the 120-foot deck collapsed. The collapse led to more than a dozen people being taken to the hospital. Lawsuits citing the dangerous premises are likely to result.

Patrons have the right to expect that the establishments they frequent take appropriate measures to keep them safe. Both the village and the owner of a restaurant may be appropriate parties to sue in the event a patron is hurt in an accident.  The experienced attorneys at Fazio, Disalvo & Abers can assist you in the event that you suffer injury from a deck collapse.

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