Condo association may be liable for crime related death

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities

In 2015, 22-year-old Alex Johnson was found shot dead in his condo apartment unit at Paradise Cove, West Palm Beach. According to reports in the Palm Beach Post, that death was rules a homicide. Also, according to reports, Johnson was a tenant at Paradise Cove Condominiums. Johnson’s mother, Lynn Perez, has filled a lawsuit alleging that the condo association, the owner of the complex, and the owner of Johnson’s unit at the time failed to provide adequate security that would have prevented the violent assault that resulted in her son’s death.


Mother sues West Palm Beach condo in son’s 2015 shooting death

Jane Musgrave Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
3:46 p.m Monday, July 17, 2017 Palm Beach County Crime

The mother of a 22-year-old man who has shot dead in his West Palm Beach apartment in 2015 has sued the owners and managers of the complex near Palm Beach Lakes and Village boulevards.

In the lawsuit filed last week in Palm Beach County Circuit Court, the mother of Alex Johnson claims Paradise Cove and others failed to provide adequate security at the condominium complex even though crimes had occurred nearby. Lynn Perez is seeking an unspecified amount in damages for herself and Johnson’s father, Jervis Johnson, according to the lawsuit filed by attorney Spencer Kuvin.

Read more:–law/mother-sues-west-palm-beach-condo-son-2015-shooting-death/h8JbkefjRHpyFyN1ReYp4H/


Two issues are brought to light here. First, no matter how attractive a condominium complex appears to be, it is not necessarily located in a safe neighborhood. Condo owners and tenants are wise to inquire about multiple layers of security at the housing complex. Is there adequate lighting of parking areas, entry and exit points, stairways and hallways? Are all unit entry doors made of solid material with deadbolt locks? Do windows lock, especially those easily accessible on ground level? Are common areas adequately secured against entry by vagrants or predators? Is there onsite security? Do city or county police regularly patrol the complex?

Second, condo owners must recognize that their association can be held liable for personal injury and death related to criminal activity that occurs on association property. Therefore, the association must be adequately insured against future lawsuits. Additionally, the association must take reasonable measures to prevent crime, because insurance coverage may be denied if investigations determine that the condo association was negligent in its duties.

Absentee condo landlords may not be paying close attention to how their association is managed, until an unfortunate event occurs. This recent lawsuit filed in Palm Beach County should serve as a wake up call to all condo associations and unit owners.

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