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Unformatted text preview: t's application of the law on
causation and foreseeability in Woods may be somewhat out of harmony with Florida
law. This is indicated, appellee argues, by the Woods' court's reference to case law of that
state which precludes a finding of proximate cause for injuries resulting from an owner's
leaving the keys in an unlocked motor vehicle, whereas the law of Florida rejects this
view, and holds that a jury issue is presented in such a case. See Vining v. Avis Rent-ACar, Systems, Inc., 354 So.2d 54 (Fla. 1977) (if an intervening criminal act is foreseeable,
the chain of causation is not broken, and this rule is directly applicable to key-in-theignition cases; and statutory law requiring removal of key from unattended vehicle
provides additional support for this position).
The facts in Strauss, supra, are far removed from those in the present case. In Strauss, the
plaintiff appealed an unfavorable jury verdict. The plaintiff, a guest of the hotel, was
assaulted by a student employed by a club as a locker room attendant on club premises
located in the hotel building. As a hotel guest, the plaintiff [**36] was entitled to use the
club facilities. The assault took place late in the evening, after the club was closed, when
the plaintiff returned to the club premises pursuant to a social invitation by the attendant,
following which the attendant attacked the plaintiff. The appellate court found that the
plaintiff's evidence failed to establish either a negligent hiring or any proximate
causation, and affirmed the jury verdict for all defendants.
In Watson, supra, where police officers staged a drug "rip-off" and murder outside the
city and hence outside the officers' jurisdiction, the court found no causal connection
between the officers' employment and continued retention by the city, and the murder.
The court pointed out, among other things, that the police equipment - police badges,
"rights cards," radios, and portable blue bubble light - used to gain entry by the...
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- Spring '08