The Association sued a corporate owner for unpaid assessments which accrued after a tax sale. In response, the corporate owner countersued for the Association in excess of $430,000.00. The corporate owner asserted that the Association was negligent, breached the Bylaws, and breached its fiduciary duty to it by selling a judgment lien on the corporate owner’s property to a creditor. Specifically, the corporate owner argued that its property was sold at a tax sale, and a third party creditor purchased the Association’s lien to create a superlien. In doing so, the corporate defendant alleged that the Association’s board of directors failed to follow bylaws in making its decision, which caused Defendant’s damages. At the trial level, Ms. Brim argued that the required number of directors approved the sale. Additionally, even if there was a breach of the Bylaws, Ms. Brim argued that the breach was not the proximate cause of the corporate defendant’s damages because the damages accrued prior to the sale of the association’s lien and the corporate defendant was not in a financial position to redeem the property. The trial court agreed with the Association on Defendant’s counterclaims and granted summary judgment. Additionally, Mr. Finamore was able to obtain a judgment for unpaid assessments and an order foreclosing on the statutory lien.
Based on the adverse ruling, the corporate defendant appealed. Elina Brim, Stephen Finamore and Brendan Hunter worked on the Association’s appellate brief. The Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s ruling, finding that the Association’s breach was not the proximate cause of the damages sustained by the corporate defendant. The Court of Appeals affirmed the Association’s judgment for unpaid assessments, interest, and attorney’s fees, as well as the order permitting foreclosure on the Association’s statutory lien.
Brendan Hunter is the department head of the firm’s community association litigation practice. He represents community associations, developers and builders in all aspects of community association law, including, directors and officers liability, covenant interpretation and enforcement, contract formation and disputes, covenant formation and amendments, and business formation. Stephen Finamore is a Partner with Lueder, Larkin & Hunter, LLC, managing the community association collection department. Stephen’s primary areas of practice are community association law, litigation, liability defense, and collections. Elina Brim is also a Partner with the firm, and serves as general counsel for our community association clients, and focus their practice in the areas of community association law, insurance defense, and general litigation.