L.W. from Florida writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
We board members have been served with a lawsuit. I recently heard that two board members have been served with lawsuit papers individually as well. Apparently, I’ve been named in them but haven’t been served or given a copy. Am I legally okay to ask for a copy? My condo president says “no”. I live in Broward County in the state of Florida. Thank you for your time.
Mister Condo replies:
L.W., as you likely know, I am not an attorney so I cannot offer you legal advice here. I am also not an expert in Florida state law so I cannot tell you how the lawsuit process works where you live. You should most definitely consult with your own attorney to discuss your rights as they pertain to these multiple cases. Let me share some friendly advice as I usually do in this column.
The lawsuit against the Board, of which you are a member, is likely to be handled by the condo’s community association attorney, who is employed by the Board for just such matters. You need to be kept abreast of what the lawsuit is about and what damages are being sought by the plaintiff. For the most part, association’s carry insurance for Director’s and Officers (D&O Insurance) that may come into play and limit the Board’s liability if the plaintiff is successful. This is the only lawsuit that you have been served notice of at this time from what you have told me. You may also want to get an opinion from your own attorney as to what liability, if any, you may be facing. It is likely not any personal liability but, if it were I, I would want a legal opinion for my own peace of mind.
The other lawsuits are not aimed at you from what you have told me. You may be listed as a witness by the plaintiff (or defendant at some point) and, if you are notified that you need to make a court appearance, you should very likely consult with your own attorney before doing so. Again, this may be for no other reason that to provide you with peace of mind.
I am sorry that you find yourself in this position, L.W., but I am sure with some proper legal advice you will be well on your way to dealing with the litigation. All the best!