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Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - FRONT PAGE - Gary Singer Board-cer­ti­fied real es­tate lawyer Gary M. Singer writes about in­dus­try le­gal mat­ters and the hous­ing mar­ket at SunSen­­ness /realestate each week. To ask him a ques­tion, email him at gary@garysinger­, or go to SunSen­tinel.c

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.

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