New Case Highlights That Parking Availability Can Be a Safety Issue

The California Court of Appeal recently ruled that a condominium association didn’t have a duty to provide adequate on-site parking for invitees and therefore wasn’t liable for injuries a guest sustained after parking off-site. But the court left the door open to an association’s liability for off-site injury in some circumstances.

One evening in June 2014, the plaintiff in the case was visiting a friend who lived in the association. The association had 170 parking spots, six of which were designated for visitors. When she couldn’t find a space on-site, she parked on the far side of a five-lane street.

Rather than walking to the marked crosswalk several hundred feet away, she jaywalked. She was struck by a car and sustained a traumatic brain injury and multiple skull fractures. She sued the association for premises liability and negligence.

Both claims rested on the allegation that the association’s failure to maintain the number of guest parking spaces mandated by a zoning variance created a foreseeable risk of harm for the association’s guests. The guest parking requirement was one of five conditions the city deemed “necessary to protect the best interests of and assure a development more compatible with the surrounding neighborhood.”

The trial court dismissed the case before trial, finding the association owed the guest no duty, and she appealed. But the Court of Appeal agreed with the trial court.

“You have to look at how the duty of care could arise and to whom it extends,” says Sandra Gottlieb, a founding partner of the California homeowner association law firm SwedelsonGottlieb.

Read the full story now and learn more: Do Associations Have a Duty to Provide Invitee Parking?

Best regards,
Matt Humphrey

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