HOA liability: respondeat superior and agents as in Trayvon case

Orlando attorney W. Jeff Earnshaw, Esq. of Taylor & Carls, P.A. wrote in its Blog about, What the Trayvon Martin Case Can Teach Associations.  Some excerpts from this very informative article.

The case of Trayvon Martin demonstrates how something as seemingly innocuous as labeling a member of an association as the “Captain” of the neighborhood watch can open an association to possible liability.

Understanding how this designation in the association’s newsletter could ultimately lead to liability for the association can help HOA’s and Condominium Association’s limit their own potential liability for actions of others. . . . A well-established legal concept is respondeat superior, which literally means “let the master answer”. Respondeat superior provides the basis for a principal to be held responsible for the wrongful acts of their agent when those acts are performed within the scope of the agent’s duties.

While an employer-employee is the most common principal-agent relationship, with the employer being the principal and the employee their agent, an agency relationship can exist whenever someone acts on behalf of another. . . . The third element; the principal’s control over the actions of the agent, should not be overlooked. The general concept behind respondeat superior liability is that a principal generally controls their agent’s behavior, and therefore the principal should be responsible to the public for the agent’s actions while the agent is under the employer’s control.

See also What is an HOA’s duty of care liability to its members and to all others?

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Published in: on September 27, 2012 at 12:27 pm  Comments (2)  
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  1. […] HOA liability: respondeat superior and agents as in Trayvon case Trayvon — Zimmerman reported to be acting for HOA If Trayvon HOA is sued, who should share the […]

  2. […] (German for “above all”). The latest shocking incident, after the Trayvon Martin incident (HOA liability: respondeat superior and agents as in Trayvon case), is the incident reported in the Sun-Sentinel article, “Parking at home shouldn’t bring […]


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