TO SUE – OR NOT TO SUE: THAT’S HERE THE QUESTION!
Published June 5, 2020
The Pandemic didn’t only create health issues, it as well
changed widely our life-style and the way we were doing
business. It as well created lots of legal controversies.
First of all owners got upset about the rules allowing or
disallowing access to their units/homes. Then some owners got
upset about boards closing down the communities’ amenities,
others got upset that the boards refused to close down the
amenities. We all know: You can never do it right – no matter
what you do!
Now the fight is on over re-opening these amenities: Some folks
are for it – some are against it. Nothing wrong with being
careful, but even if the community pool re-opened, nobody is
forcing anybody to use it – especially if you don’t feel
comfortable using it. If you are a member of the board, make
sure that the association follows all the rules, State and
County rules. There is a reason why these rules are made!
I get more and more questions from board members asking if they
could get sued – and from owners if they could sue the
association fo opening – or keeping them closed – the amenities.
This is the most sue-happy country I ever lived and worked in.
And it’s to my knowledge the only country that has more
attorneys than medical doctors. That already tells you answer to
your question: YES, everybody can sue everybody for everything.
That's ’he way of life in this country!
The big question really is: “CAN YOU WIN SUCH A LAWSUIT?”
Personally, I don’t think so! If you get infected with the virus
you couldn't really prove where and how you got infected. Remember:
The incubation period for
COVID-19 is thought to extend to 14 days – meaning you would
have to prove that only your visit to the community pool could
be blamed for you getting infected. In my opinion an
insurmountable burden of proof.
In my opinion there is only one thing to do: Suffer through the
problems of the virus and make the best of it. Getting annoyed
to the point that you are willing to file a lawsuit will only
make attorneys rich and you and your association even poorer!
Nobody – only possible China – is to blame for this Pandemic.
Let’s just work all together to get our lives back to normal.
||Jan Bergemann is president of Cyber Citizens For Justice,
's largest state-wide property owners' advocacy group.
CCFJ works on legislation to help owners living in
associations. He moved to
in 1995 - hoping to retire. He moved into a HOA, where the
developer cheated the homeowners and used the association dues
for his own purposes. End of retirement!
CCFJ was born in the year 2000, when some owners met in
- finding out that power is only in numbers. Bergemann was a
member of Governor Jeb Bush's HOA Task force in 2003/2004.
The organization has two websites to inform interested
homeowners and condo owners:
News Website: http://www.ccfj.net/.
Educational Website: http://www.ccfjfoundation.net/.
We think that only owners can really represent owners, since all
service providers surely have a different interest! We are
trying to create owner-friendly laws, but the best laws are
useless without enforcement. And enforcement is totally lacking