Can HOA board members be sued?

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Can HOA board members be sued?

Several months of common sewer line backups damaged a homeowner’s inside unit.

The HOA hired a licensed plumber. Damages were reported at a meeting to a board member The president whom informed me that it was not the HOA’s responsibility to repair. The homeowner made a claim on the master insurance policy. The HOA is contesting the claim. I communicated with the HOA and contracted a plumber who made repairs. I provided pictures and the plumber’s information to the insurance company. Can a homeowner request pain and suffering from the HOA insurer for the HOA contesting to avoid making a claim for damages?

Asked on March 25, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The board may be sued; however, individual HOA board members are protected from legal liability unless they were acting outside the scope of their responsibilities or authority (basically, not doing or contesting something which the board could do or contest), which does not appear to be the case here. There is no compensation for "pain and suffering" for disputes over property damage claims or insurance claims--pain and suffering is only available for personal injury (e.g. assaults or accidents) or when there is a deliberate attempt to inflict emotional harm (e.g. stalking or harassment).


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