Tag Archives: liable

GA: Court divided over roaming alligator

News items of national interest regarding Condominium and Homeowner associations, compiled by the Community Associations Network

A divided Georgia Court of Appeals panel has ruled that a golf club and homeowners association may be held liable for damage inflicted by alligators that patrol a system of lagoons.
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Association Liability

Latest articles about condo’s and HOA’s, found on the internet, compiled by the Community Associations Network

Without a doubt, the most common question I am asked as an attorney by my homeowners association clients is “What can we do to protect ourselves from getting sued?” My answer is always the same: “Nothing!” In this era of quick-trigger and frequent litigation, there truly is nothing that an association can do to stop itself from being sued. However, it is important to understand that the clients are asking the wrong question. Instead, they should be asking what the association can do to protect itself from being held liable in a lawsuit.
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Association Liable for Unit Owner’s Injury

A Michigan court recently held that a condo association was negligent in failing to repair the developer’s construction defects, which led to a unit owner’s injury.  The owner noticed a problem with excessive draining on her roof and had complained several times to the developer and association.  The draining frequently caused water to overflow from the gutters and collect on her porch.

A month after the developer relinquished control to the board, ice accumulated on the walkway and the unit owner fell sustaining serious injuries.  The owner filed suit against the association based on theories of premises liability, nuisance, and negligence.

The Michigan court of appeals reasoned that, akin to landlord tenant law, the association had a duty to maintain the common areas in a reasonably safe condition.  According to the association’s bylaws, the gutters and roofs are included as common areas and are under the exclusive control of the association.  Because the association failed to remedy the construction defects that caused the ice to accumulate, the association could be held liable for the owner’s injuries.  The court of appeals remanded the case for further proceedings.

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