|OWNERS IN HARBOR HILL HOA CELEBRATE VICTORY OVER DEVELOPER|
Opinion By Jan Bergemann
Published July 1, 2014
a lengthy court battle that initially started already in 2006, owners of
the HARBOR HILLS HOMEOWNERS' ASSOCIATION, INC. in
Lady Lake could finally celebrate a decisive victory with the help
of a JURY
VERDICT on November 8, 2013. The jury found the developer,
Michael Rich, guilty of BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTY ( DOC ) and
found that the developer owed the Harbor Hills Homeowners'
Association damages in the amount of $ 640,000.00 to fully satisfy its
obligations under the Governing Documents for the time period from 2005
through 2010. The jury verdict was a slam-dunk decision in favor of the
plaintiffs. The decision made it very clear that the jury found Michael
Rich guilty on all points raised in the lawsuit.
more details of the lawsuits and the rulings please see the attached court
his FINAL JUDGMENT
Honorable Judge Richard Singeltary followed the recommendations of the
jury and awarded the two plaintiffs, Esther Line and Larry Bell -- and the
homeowners of the Harbor Hills Homeowners’ Association, a total amount
of $640,000 and LEGAL FEES -- still to be determined.
expected the developer, Michael Rich, has filed an appeal – an appeal
that most likely was just filed to prolong the process. Experts give this
appeal very little chance of success.
lawsuits against the developer are still pending.
at the whole scenario of all these lawsuits, it’s obvious that many
developers just try to ignore the Florida statutes and just hope that the
owners are not organized enough to file the necessary lawsuits to fight
for their rights!
more owner-friendly legislation is needed to even out the playing fields
in Florida’s community associations.
Priority: The creation of a
regulatory agency for homeowners’ associations. The best laws are
useless without enforcement.