River Terrace Condominium Association v. Lewis

514 N.E. 2d 732 (1986)

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River Terrace Condominium Association v. Lewis

Ohio Court of Appeals
514 N.E. 2d 732 (1986)

Facts

River Terrace Condominium Association (the association) (plaintiff) sued to enjoin unit owner Dora Stewart Lewis (defendant) from refusing to give access to her second-floor unit so the association could spray to exterminate cockroaches. Cockroaches had been discovered in the common areas and in some units on the first three floors, including in the hallway outside Lewis’s unit and in an adjoining unit sharing a common wall with Lewis’s unit. The association engaged an exterminating company to spray to eliminate the infestation. Lewis refused entry to her unit, claiming that she could not tolerate the spray, had lost a dog due to a chemical overload, and had not seen any cockroaches in her unit. The association’s experts testified that cockroaches carried bacteria, nested in clusters, migrated along conduits, wiring, pipes, and ducts, and moved from sprayed areas. Expert testimony opined that if cockroaches were found on two sides of a unit, there was a good chance they were inside that unit. Lewis presented no evidence that the exterminator’s insecticides were toxic to her health. The trial court ruled for the association, finding that it acted reasonably and within its authority under Ohio condominium law and the condominium declaration, which both recognized a right of entry if authorized by a board and for purposes of maintaining, repairing, or servicing any common area and protecting the common safety of condominium occupants or preventing damage to the condominium. Lewis appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Black, J.)

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