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  • Writer's pictureLandon Stinson

401.13 PREEMPTIVE CHARGES (Florida Standard Jury Instruction)


The court has determined and now instructs you that

a. Duty to use reasonable care:

the circumstances at the time and place of the incident involved in this case were such that (defendant) had a duty to use reasonable care for (claimant’s) safety.

(skip to instruction 401.18 on negligence issues)


This preemptive instruction is not for use routinely, but only when the reasonable care standard was contested before the jury, as by an instruction 401.14 issue now to be withdrawn as a matter of law. In that event instruction 401.13a properly emphasizes reasonable care as embodied in instruction 401.17 or 401.19 and 401.4. Otherwise it is argumentative.

b. Vicarious liability:

(Defendant) is responsible for any negligence of (name) in (describe alleged negligence).

(skip to instruction 401.18 on negligence issues)

c. Negligence:

(Defendant) was negligent. The issue for you to decide [on (claimant’s) claim] is whether such negligence was a legal cause of [loss] [injury] [or] [damage] to (claimant or person on whose behalf the claim is made).

(skip to causation, damage issues and general instructions)

d. Directed verdict on liability:

(Defendant) was negligent and such negligence was a legal cause of [loss] [injury] [or] [damage] to (claimant). (Claimant) is therefore entitled to recover from (defendant) for the [loss] [injury] [or] [damage] as is shown by the greater weight of the evidence to have been caused by (defendant).

(skip to damage issues and general instructions)


This instruction should be given only when the sole issue to be determined by the jury is damages.


1. This instruction covers only preemptive instructions on issues arising on claims. Preemptive instructions on defense issues are covered in instruction 401.22 and should be given at that stage of the instruction.

2. It may be necessary or desirable in some cases for the court to introduce this instruction by calling attention to the evidence or arguments of counsel in which the issue now to be withdrawn was raised or discussed.

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