NJ Supreme Court Decision Paves the Way for Condominium Associations in Transition to Recover Damages against the Developer and Subcontractors

Posted by on Aug 23, 2016 in Construction Defect, Insurance, Legal Decisions

On August 4, 2016, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued its decision in Cypress Point Condominium Association, Inc. v. Adria Towers, LLC, et al., which held that faulty workmanship by a subcontractor that causes property damage is a covered loss under the developer’s/general contractor’s commercial general liability (CGL) insurance policy. The ruling holds that this consequential damage constitutes an “occurrence” under the CGL policy and, as such, may allow community associations to recover for water infiltration and other defective construction.

In this case, Cypress Point Condominium Association instituted transition litigation against the project’s developer/general contractor for water leaks and other construction defects, which caused damage to the units and common property. The developer’s insurance company argued that the Association’s claims were not covered under the various CGL policies obtained by the developer because the alleged faulty workmanship by the developer’s subcontractors did not amount to an “occurrence” and that the resulting damages did not constitute “property damage” under the policies.

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New Jersey Supreme Court Distinguishes Luchejko and Holds Community Association Is Not Immune from Liability for Failure to Clear Ice and Snow from Private Sidewalks

Posted by on Aug 12, 2015 in Insurance, Legal Decisions, Safety

By Jonathan H. Katz, Esq.

On August 12, 2015, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued a decision in Qian v. Toll Brothers Inc., which determined that community associations are not entitled to immunity from claims of personal injury sustained on private sidewalks that comprise part of an association’s common property. In deciding Qian, the Court made clear that its 2011 decision in Luchejko v. City of Hoboken, which held that associations were immune from liability for the failure to adequately clear snow and ice from a public sidewalks, does not apply in the context of an association’s private, common property. Although the result is not surprising based on the long-standing common law concerning tort liability, it does clarify the distinction between the potential liability of a community associations for private versus public sidewalks.

As discussed in a previous blog post, in Qian a resident in an adult residential community was injured after a slip and fall on ice following a winter storm. Qian sued the association, its developer (who controlled the board), its managing agent and the contractor responsible for snow and ice removal. The Trial Court dismissed the claims against the association, developer and managing agent based in part on the decision in Luchejko.

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New Jersey Supreme Court to Hear Argument on Association’s Liability for Failure to Clear Ice and Snow from Common Sidewalks

Posted by on Mar 12, 2015 in Insurance, Legal Decisions, Safety

By Jonathan H. Katz, Esq.

On March 16, 2015, the New Jersey Supreme Court will hear argument on Qian v. Toll Brothers Inc. to answer the question of whether a community association can be found liable for the failure to adequately clear snow and ice from its common sidewalks.

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Join Us at the 2014 New Jersey Cooperator’s Condo, HOA and Co-op Expo on Wednesday, May 7th

Posted by on May 6, 2014 in Alternative Dispute Resolution, Architectural Controls, Board Meetings, Books and Records, Collections, Contracts, DCA, Disability Accommodations, Fair Housing, FHA, First Amendment Rights, Foreclosure, Insurance, Lease/Rental Restrictions, Legal Decisions, Legislation, Municipal Services Act, New Jersey Cooperator, Speaking Engagements

BoothLogo (03361700)Hill Wallack LLP‘s Community Association Practice Group will be exhibiting at the 2014 New Jersey Cooperator’s Condo, HOA and Co-op Expo on Wednesday, May 7, 2013, 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, New Jersey. Join board members, property managers, building owners and real estate professionals and meet building service companies, attend educational seminars and get your questions answered by a member of our team.

Hill Wallack LLP Partner Caroline Record, Esq. is among the featured panelists of experts at the Educational Seminar titled “Breaking Bad – The Insiders Guide to By-Laws & Rules.” This seminar will discuss how by-laws and rules are the keys to maintaining a harmonious community, provided that they are reasonable and properly enforced. The panel will discuss the keys to drafting, enacting and enforcing by-laws and house rules. Topics to be explored include when to change by-laws/rules; the proper and legal method of changing them; the role of your association’s attorney; how your governing documents affect by-laws/rules, and much more.

For more information or to register to attend, click here!

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Proposed Legislation Would Alter FEMA Disaster Assistance Policy for Condos and Co-ops

Posted by on Jul 31, 2013 in CAI, Insurance, Legal Decisions, Legislation, Superstorm Sandy

By Jonathan H. Katz, Esq.

As reported in the New York Times, legislators from New Jersey and New York will introduce a bill in Congress shortly seeking to alter a longstanding Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) policy and require that FEMA qualify condominiums and cooperatives for federal disaster assistance.

Under the current FEMA policy, co-ops and condominium associations are considered “business entities” that do not qualify for FEMA assistance, which can include up to $30,000 per household. After the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, thousands of homeowners were surprised to learn that their condos and co-op were largely barred from federal disaster assistance given to similarly situated single-family homes. Presently, while individual homeowners may apply for FEMA grants to restore the interior of their units or their individual homes, a community association may not request a FEMA grant to repair a common roof, remove debris or replace vital operating systems destroyed by a natural disaster. As a result, countless condominiums and co-ops have not been able to obtain grants for damages to roofs, siding, decks and other common areas.

While FEMA officials were sympathetic, they based their rejection on the Stafford Act, a federal disaster law that excludes co-ops and condos. The proposed legislation, if enacted, would alter the Stafford Act to make residential condominiums and co-ops eligible for FEMA assistance and remove the $30,000 cap for assistance.

The Community Associations Institute (“CAI”) is continuing its efforts to include community associations in this legislation. You can follow CAI’s efforts here.

For more information on this or any other issue concerning your community association, please contact one of our Community Associations attorneys. For breaking news or updates on new blog posts, follow us on Twitter at: @njcondolaw.

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Hanson to Speak on Superstorm Sandy Claims at the 2013 New Jersey Cooperator’s Condo, HOA and Co-op Expo

Posted by on Apr 30, 2013 in Insurance, Legal Decisions, New Jersey Cooperator, Speaking Engagements, Superstorm Sandy

Hill Wallack LLP Partner Gerard H. Hanson, Esq. will be speaking during a seminar titled “Superstorm Sandy: Protecting Your Community by Pursuing Your Claim” at the 2013 New Jersey Cooperator’s Condo, HOA and Co-op Expo, on Wednesday, May 1, 2013, at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, New Jersey. This seminar, which will be held at 1:00pm – 2:00pm, in Seminar Room 1, will discuss how to protect your association by avoiding common pitfalls in pursuing damage claims. Learn to navigate the complicated claims process in order to maximize recovery in the least  amount of time. A question and answer portion will follow the presentation.

Presenting with Jerry Hanson will be Alan Garfinkel, Esq. of Katzman Garfinkel & Berger, who is one of the nation’s leading authorities on Natural Disaster law.

For more information or to register to attend, click here!

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