This position by the insurer points out that the HOA board is NOT 100% protected for wrongful acts. Especially for those that are grossly negligent or intentional acts.
Homeowners should step outside the HOA attorney greated box that implies that the HOA can do no wrong, and remember that laws other than those HOA or Condo Acts also apply to HOAs: Restatement of Servitudes, tort law, and corporation law.
From the COURTHOUSE NEWS SERVICE Aug. 6, 2012
ORLANDO (CN) – Traveler’s Insurance sued Trayvon Martin’s mother and The Retreat at Twin Lakes Homeowners’ Association, where her son was killed, claiming it has no responsibility to defend the HOA or cover the teenager’s death.
Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America sued The Retreat at Twin Lakes Homeowners’ Association and Sybrina Fulton, as representative of her son’s estate, in Federal Court.
The Retreat at Twin Lakes’ Neighborhood Watch captain George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin to death on Feb. 26. The shooting set off a national furor, as police initially let Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman, go free after questioning him. Martin was black; Zimmerman is not.
Travelers claims that on March 30, it issued the HOA a “claims-made, nonprofit management and organization liability insurance policy.
Fulton then sought monetary damages against the HOA’s policy with Travelers for her son’s death.
Travelers claims it is not liable because of the policy’s “wrongful act” exclusion.
Travelers claims the exclusion states:
“‘The insurer shall not liable to make any payment for loss in connection with any claim made against any of its insureds: 1) based upon, arising out of, directly or indirectly resulting from, in consequence of, or in any way involving bodily injury, sickness, mental anguish, emotional distress, disease or death of a person, provided that this exclusion shall not apply to allegations of mental anguish or emotional distress if an only to the extent that such allegations are made as part of a claim for wrongful employment practices.’
“Travelers is in doubt of its rights under the policy and, by this petition, seeks a declaration of its rights and obligations with respect to the claim and demand made by Fulton upon Travelers and The Retreat at Twin Lakes as a result of the fatal shooting or Martin, and a finding by the court that under the above-referenced policy of insurance Travelers has no duty to indemnify or defend The Retreat at Twin Lakes in connection with the Fulton claim because coverage is precluded by the above exclusion.”
Zimmerman was rereleased on $1 million bond in August his first bond of $150,000 was revoked.
State Judge Kenneth Lester ordered Zimmerman back to jail after finding that Zimmerman and his wife Shellie misled the court about how much money they had.
Shellie Zimmerman was arrested and charged with perjury days later, and released on a $1,000 bond. She was to be arraigned July 31 but her attorney Kelly Sims filed a written not guilty plea.
George Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and claimed self-defense under Florida’s so-called “stand your ground law.”
Judge Lester last week refused to recuse himself after Zimmerman’s attorney Mark O’Mara asked him to. O’Mara accused Lest of making “gratuitous, disparaging remarks” when he set Zimmerman’s second bond, according to wire reports. Lester denied the motion as “legally insufficient.”