Court OKs the use of COVID Risk Waiver Forms
A Virginia court has issued a ruling that’s welcome news to community associations struggling with how to keep owners happy while reducing the risk of COVID-19. The court found an association’s requirement that users of the common area pool first sign an assumption of risk form reasonable.
Such forms are becoming more common. “We have provided assumption of risk forms for dozens, if not hundreds, of our clients since March,” says Andrew Elmore, a shareholder in the Richmond, Va., office of Chadwick Washington Moriarty Elmore & Bunn P.C., who represents the association involved in the case.
Deborah Casey, a partner in the Norfolk, Va., law firm Vandeventer Black LLP, also has fielded requests from association clients for assumption of risk forms. “We were happy to see this ruling because a lot of associations have implemented these types of procedures. It gives us a good idea of what a court might be thinking about them.”
“The court embraced the necessary balance of understanding that owners have rights, but there are limitations,” Elmore says. “If restrictions are founded on authority in the governing documents and imposed reasonably, they’re enforceable.
“You’re not being denied the use of something — you’re just being required to take one more step. If the association had done nothing by way of rule or regulation, it would be derelict in its duty. It has to protect the safety of owners and the association from liability exposure.”
So what types of provisions should your clients consider including in their COVID 19-related assumption of risk forms? Read the full story now and find out: