Schwarzmann v. Association of Apartment owners of Bridgehaven

655 P.2d 1177 (1982)

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Schwarzmann v. Association of Apartment owners of Bridgehaven

Washington Court of Appeals
655 P.2d 1177 (1982)

Facts

Robert and Eleonore Schwarzmann (plaintiffs) owned a unit in the Bridgehaven condominium that was damaged when water leaked from the Schwarzmanns’ ceiling. Roof and attic areas above individual units were common areas of the condominium that the board had responsibility to maintain and repair, but the board did not accept responsibility for the water problem. It was later determined that the leak was caused by condensation occurring in the attic area over the Schwarzmanns’ unit. The Schwarzmanns sued the condominium board members (defendants) individually for damages for the diminished value of their unit, interference with their daily lives, and the pain, suffering, and medical expenses they incurred after not receiving a satisfactory response from the board members after months of complaints and demands to repair the damage. The trial court dismissed Schwartzmanns’ claims against the individual board members after finding no evidence of bad faith or that any board member breached a duty that he owed to the Schwartzmanns. On appeal, the Schwartzmanns argued that a related state property law providing that “[a]ctions relating to common areas and facilities for damages arising out of tortious conduct shall be maintained only against the association of apartment owners” did not bar actions against individual condominium board members but merely provided a means to facilitate lawsuits against unincorporated associations, and the Schwartzmanns also argued that the court should pierce the corporate veil of the condominium association to hold the board members individually liable.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Durham, J.)

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