General Liability

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Protecting Associations from Liability for Sexual Harassment

You can’t turn on the news these days, pick up a paper or listen to the radio without hearing about someone else in the entertainment industry being accused of improper sexual behavior towards employees, coworkers or others. Community Associations are

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Fiduciary Duties 101 – Limiting the Liability of the Board

A fiduciary duty creates an obligation to act for another’s benefit. A board of director’s fiduciary duty is to the association and its members. So what are the core duties of an association director? Individual loyalty, good faith and fair

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Conflicts of Interest (IL)

The Illinois Condominium Property Act (the “Condominium Act”) does not provide complete guidance on when a board decision may be invalidated due to a conflict of interest. Therefore, a court, when deciding if a decision should be set aside due

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East Bay Panel Update – Director Liability

Two weeks ago, I met with a great group of ECHO members at our East Bay Resource Panel. We were gathered to talk about the recent Parth case and how it affects the personal liability of HOA directors. Ann Marquis-Fisher,

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Community Association Liability For Dog Bites – Woof, Woof, Woof

Can a Florida condominium, homeowners’, and cooperative association have liability for its members’ dog bites? Apparently, the answer is yes, it surely can.  In 1996, the Fourth District Court of Appeal of Florida in Barrwood Homeowners Association, Inc. v. Maser,

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Snakebite Victim Waits While Insurance Companies Duke it Out in Court (FL)

The legal machinations involving three insurers duking it out in court over Florida premises liability is overshadowing the suffering of a Florida woman who has undergone various amputation procedures involving her lower extremities following a snakebite on the grounds of

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Proactive Measures Help Community Associations Diminish Exposure to Negligent Security Lawsuits

Florida community associations, just as with all other property owners in the state, can be held liable for crimes committed on their properties. Associations and other property owners owe a duty to their residents and guests to undergo reasonable steps

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Neighbors may have contributed to July gator attack (FL)

Personal injury attorney Elizete Velado says it’s hard to tell if a lawsuit can be filed over this. But, Witzel could hold the homeowner’s association responsible for this attack if they knew the alligator posed a threat.  “The question and

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HOA Board Liability

As a board member you obviously care about your community and its well-being – good for you! Your community will benefit from your dedication and personal investment. But something you and your fellow board members should consider is personal liability

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When a Worker Dies on the Job, Who’s Liable? (NY)

When shareholders perform work in their apartments, the concept is that the shareholder assumes all risk and liability in connection with that work. In other words, the cooperative corporation is not responsible for any damage or injury. Those principles are

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Why Hire Insured and Certified Vendors for your HOA?

To us, it’s clear why it is important to hire insured and certified vendors for your HOA, but sometimes members of the HOA Board might need some convincing. Here are five reasons to consider doing so.    Read the article……………

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Negligent Security Claims: Reducing Liability for Associations (FL)

In recent years, Condominium and Homeowner’s Associations have become a target for negligent security lawsuits and claims. Typically, a resident or guest of an Association is a victim of a violent crime and the crime victim later sues the Association.

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Liability & the Law: Reducing Liabilities in Co-op & Condo Communities

It’s no secret that insurance is a necessity for any building or association. Nevertheless, the expense of coverage means that issues of liability and risk are all too often examined only after problems have occurred. Usually, insurance holders address matters

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When Can Employer be Liable for Employee Drinking and Driving?

In some cases, employers in California may be liable when their employees are intoxicated and cause accidents. Plaintiffs may be able to sue the employers under a legal doctrine called vicarious liability. Employers may also be liable if they negligently

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Slip and Falls on the Condominium Premises and the Open and Obvious Doctrine

A few years ago, I wrote an article titled “Legal Update: Slip and Fall on the Condominium Premises: Does the Condominium Owe a Statutory Duty to Its Co-owners?” The article centered around a 2015 published decision by the Michigan Court

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Dogs Take a Huge Bite of Homeowner Liability Claims

Dog bites man, man sues board. Are you adequately insured?  “My dog doesn’t bite.”  Don’t believe those four innocent words. Dog bites and other dog-related injuries accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners liability claims paid out in 2016

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Through A Condo Owner’s Looking Glass – A Shade Of Green – Or Is That Gray?

In an action applying Florida law, a federal district judge ruled in favor of a Directors and Officers liability insurer, finding that the “insured versus insured” exclusion applied to bar both a defense and coverage of an underlying action. In

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The Bouncy House-Invitation to Liability

Residents in community associations often behave as if they still reside in single family homes. They tend to forget that liability exposures created through their personal activities will affect others. A perfect example is when a unit owner asks permission

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Many condo insurance claims arise from liability

Condominium corporations present claims against their insurance policies for a wide range of reasons. Although, it is important to note that current trends in claims are not necessarily unique to condominiums.  That said, multi-unit residential dwellings and communities continue to

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Is the Co-op Liable if Children Get Hurt in Common Areas? (NY)

Q. Children who live in my co-op building in Yorkville, Manhattan, sometimes play in the common areas. They run up and down stairs and play ball in the outdoor entry area, at times without adult supervision. Do these activities pose

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IL Supreme Court: Law shields homeowners from suits over snow removal, not ‘unnatural’ ice

The Illinois Supreme Court has put the freeze on certain slip-and-fall suits, by affirming an appellate ruling that the Illinois Snow and Ice Removal Act immunizes homeowners against suits arising from weather-caused slippery sidewalks, but not from ice buildup caused

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Woman alleges homeowners association negligent after she fell on wooden walkway (WV)

A woman has filed suit against her homeowners association for alleged failure to warn after insufficient measures were taken to prevent an injury.  Jeanette Oxley filed a complaint July 19 in Putnam County Circuit Court against Oakbridge Condominium Owners Association

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Mitigating professional liability risks in the construction industry

As noted in Insurance Journal, design firms and other subcontractors should refuse to sign a contract with language that leaves them on the hook for defending owners in claims

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Indemnity Provisions can leave Associations holding the bag for someone else’s wrongdoing!

The initial reaction from the volunteer board of directors may have been relief to not have been named in the lawsuit until someone reminded them that they likely agreed to broadly indemnify both the management company and the security company in their contracts

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Attorneys to Condo Associations: Zika Litigation Won’t Bite (FL)

hat are condo associations, homeowners’ associations and other multifamily real estate boards to do as Zika spreads across South Florida? Not too much

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New Jersey Supreme Court Finds Coverage Under a Developer’s Commercial General Liability Policy for a Subcontractor’s Faulty Workmanship

The Cyprus Point decision is practically and legally significant for all those who are involved in construction litigation and related insurance coverage cases.

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How to Avoid Premise Liability Claims

Premise liability law is simple. Basically, you have a responsibility to ensure your property is safe enough for visitors

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Homeowners’ Associations Could Face Liability for Bear Attacks

Since 2013, there have been several instances of bears attacking humans in Florida. As human populations grow and natural habitats shrink, it is increasingly likely that bears may injure people and/or damage their property.

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Don’t Be The Next Trayvon Martin HOA!!!

In the case of Martinez v. Woodmar IV, a guest was shot in the condominium association’s parking lot. The victim sued the association, alleging it was liable for failing to prevent the attack.

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A Concrete Decision: ‘Qian’ and the Evolution of Sidewalk Liability (NJ)

In the past 20 years, the number of common-interest communities in New Jersey has grown exponentially. Today, we all seem to know someone living in such a community, whether it be an active adult senior community, a condominium building or

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$2.5 Million Settlement Ends 9-Year Litigation in Lawn Fall (FL)

A Wellington man received a $2.5 million settlement nine years after his foot caught on a lawn sprinkler valve cylinder, causing him to fall and wrench his knee.  Gary Smalley sued the homeowner association in his community, the property management

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Reducing Liabilities in Your Community Parking Lot

No one likes being sued, but unfortunately, America has become a litigious society. Whether you were not warned that your coffee was too hot, or you slipped and fell on your untied shoelaces, it always seems to be the fault

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HOA’s Settlement with Trayvon Martin Family Illustrates Liability Issues Involving Neighborhood Watch Programs

Last year I participated in a discussion with an Associated Press reporter and wrote about a central Florida community association’s apparent endorsement of George Zimmerman as its neighborhood watch captain and his involvement in a tragic incident that took the

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Property Managers not immune from claims by owners.

Claims are brought against community associations and community association managers (CAMs) all the time for various complaints relative to the maintenance, management and/or operation of the community.   Read More……

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