A Lake Forest condominium owner was injured when her neighbors’ 15-year-old son bumped the family car into a block wall that divided one unit from another. As reported in the Orange County Register, the injured owner had a friend who is an attorney with a well-known Orange County law firm. Certain that the condominium association was responsible for the owner’s injuries, they filed a lawsuit. They claimed that the wall was defective; the association claimed that the wall had been built to code. Perhaps more importantly, the wall did not fall on the owner because of the association’s failure to maintain or repair the wall; and but for the neighboring kid bumping the family car into the wall, it would not have collapsed (and as we attorneys like to say, the condominium association was not the “proximate cause” of the owner’s injuries).
The jury deliberated for only a few hours and found in favor of the condominium association (the neighbors whose son caused the wall to collapse settled just prior to trial).
Now the injured condominium owner will be ordered to pay the associations or costs of $30,000 or more. Perhaps her attorneys should have consulted with a condominium association expert before filing this lawsuit!