While it may not be something pleasant to discuss, sewerage backups happen. Now, if you reside in a condominium, you can image that such an occurrence can quickly escalate. This statement is especially from the stance of the property owner. At Feniger and Uliasz, our team has seen it all – including the mentioned scenario. Here, we delve into condominium law from an aspect that many people don’t think of.
The case we are about to discuss involves a claim from a unit owner in a converted mill building. The claim started due to sewage backup in the building. The backup resulted in significant damage to the condominium unit. The unit required remediation and a near complete rebuild as well as significant repairs to common area. The unit owner sued the Association, Developer and the management company under a variety of theories. A few of these theories included negligence, breach of contract and nuisance.
The claim against the Association and the management company was covered by a policy of insurance. Although resolved prior to trial, the release provided by the insurance companies and signed by all parties placed contingencies. Further, the release required the Association and developer to take action. Both parties were to complete needed repairs and install reverse backflow valves and pumps, preventing future backups into the building. The management company was to oversee the project.
Due to unavoidable delays, the project outlined in the release document did not progress to the satisfaction of the unit owner. Once again, the unit owner filed suit against the Association, the Developer and the Management Company. This time the lawsuit was based primarily on breach of contract, and there was no insurance company to indemnity or defense.
Condominium Law Attorneys to the Rescue
The law firm of Feniger & Uliasz was retained to defend the management company. The Association and the Developer were represented by separate counsel and both settled with the disgruntled unit owner and paid money to him.
Based on the advice of Feniger & Uliasz the management company continued to defend the case, and the unit owner made the wise decision to drop the suit one week before the trial. Numerous depositions were taken and motions filed with the court. In the end, the management company paid nothing and the defense presented by Feniger & Uliasz on its behalf was a complete success.