Ask a real estate pro
Someone’s injured on condo property; who’s responsible?
Q: If a member of a social club (dance, tennis, karate, etc.) within our condo association gets hurt or does something that causes an injury to one of its members or guests, can the condo be held responsible? — Bob
A: Your association can be held responsible for the injuries to the extent that it was negligent in reasonably keeping the area and equipment safe for use. The person who caused the injury may also be on the hook.
The law regarding this is not much different than any other facility negligence law. If your association manages the area when the club meets, or manages the club’s operations, then it has the responsibility to use reasonable care in making sure that both the facilities and operations are safe. The fact that it happens to be a community association that is hosting the social club means that the association will be held to similar standards to any other organization involved in the same activity.
Besides making sure that the facilities are maintained and safe, your community should make sure it has proper insurance for the types of activities that are being offered, and that any instructors or assistants that are hired or approved by the association are properly trained and vetted. Like any other business would, your association should make regular inspections and timely correct any issues of concern.
To be clear, the law does not require your community to be everywhere doing everything to make sure that no accidents happen — that is simply not realistic. Nor does the law make every injury someone’s fault because sometimes accidents just happen, despite every effort to the contrary. Under the law, the association has the duty to use reasonable care in making sure that no avoidable injuries occur.