We had two slip and falls at the same association a year apart. In both cases the women who fell took pretty bad spills, had to go to the hospital and suffered serious injuries. But that doesn’t mean that the HOA was negligent or caused the slip and fall.
Yesterday I had a court disposition. It wasn’t in a courthouse, but in an attorney’s office with a court reported and I was sworn in. It was odd that both the prosecuting and defending attorney both seemed to know each other and I got the feeling they had sat on the other side of the table in different cases over and over again.
What I could say was that the HOA hired a snow removal company and directly oversaw that company in the snow removal. I could show that in 8 years we had created nearly 1,000 work orders at this HOA including a dozen where the lady fell. These work orders ranged from “remove squirrel” and “remove wasp nest” to “fix gutter” and “shingle blown off”.
Nothing was too small for us to take action. I could honestly testify that we were onsite weekly and did a monthly walk thru with the Board. They subpoenaed my phone log and I could show that when this lady called in I took action. And while I no longer actively manage this community my property manager who does has continued in the same way.
The first slip and fall was settled out of court for $5,000. I have a feeling this will be the same. My lessons? Tell the truth, do your job, document what you do, and trust that the system works.