Condo owner cannot sue condo association for negligent acts of independent contractor
Steven Valentine's lawsuit against the Barclay Association was dismissed by the Court of Appeals this week, and the Court opened the door for additional fees and costs to be awarded to the association he sued. Valentine had become embroiled in a dispute with his condo association after it hired a roofing company whose negligent acts allegedly caused damage to the interior of Valentine's condominium. Valentine withheld his dues and sued the Association, arguing that it was responsible for the damage to his unit caused by the roofer's negligence in re-roofing [a common area duty of the Association].
The Court of Appeals held that since the roofer was an independent contractor, Valentine could only hold the Association responsible for his negligence if the Association retained control over his work, or if it did not exercise due care in hiring the contractor. Since Valentine was not prepared to meet either of these conditions of liability, he could not set-off his dues against the cost of repairs resulting from the roofer's negligence.