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Subject: Incident/Witness reports
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SueW11
(Florida)

Posts:2


11/23/2018 5:35 AM  
There was a recent incident involving a volunteer.
He was injured lifting a heavy object , then after saying he was "OK"--got in his golf cart & drove away. He was found unconscious on the side of the Associations road and the cart tipped. Folks came to his aid and he awoke & refused to go to ER. Several witnesses where there and heard this. They carried the man home, however he lives alone. THat is another subject as he could have had a serious head injury that would only be noticed several hours later ( ie subdural hematoma)
The next day upon hearing of this matter, I call the Chairman of our insurance committee and asked if all the incident/witness report were done. He became angry and said that " Under his watch there will be no more claims", as we were having trouble renewing our insurance due to claims. I said " You can not stop folks from filing a claim & we needed those reports to protect us,in case folks change their minds years later & sue for personal injury. Fla. Stat. Ann. § 95.11(3)(a) (2016) Personal injury time limit is 4 yrs. This Chairman has also removed the incidents forms from the clubhouse. Interestingly, I believe this same fellow was injured many years ago & sued our Association & settled for 5 figure dollars. I feel the Board is putting the members of Assoc. at monetary risk by allowing these actions by the Chairman, and therefore they need to remove him from his post ASAP. Thoughts?
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:7762


11/23/2018 5:53 AM  
#1 did he refuse an ambulance ride to the hospital? If so, then he had to filled out a form stating his refusal to take an ambulance. Proof and NOT heresay that they refused to go to the hospital. Someone offering to take in a private vehicle may not cut the mustard beyond "witness".

Not sure why one's HOA would even open themselves up to allowing claims like this. Unless the golf cart was the HOA's and the volunteer was injured doing HOA work. (Not just working on property). Seems to me your HOA should have a release form drawn up each time you all get involved in a volunteer event.

#2 the previous incident was it justified? Was there a real injury? Sounds like it could have been here as well. Passing out and crashing a golf cart due to injury from volunteering is a bit of a responsibility question not an assumption. Which would need investigated of course. However, by who and who initiates sounds like the victim. Your HOA is just the defendant if a claim is made. You have insurance so let them do the their job and wait for the claim.

Former HOA President
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:76


11/23/2018 6:05 AM  
You're in a tough spot. Here are my thoughts, although many of them are after-the-fact and hindsight.

* I don't believe anyone other than the board decides whether to file a claim. However, the Chairman sees trouble on the horizon. Multiple claims can cause your insurance rates to rise dramatically or make your association totally uninsurable. This is obviously a bad thing.

* We don't use volunteers at all, mainly because of liability risks. Is the money you save worth dealing with less-than-professional work and insurance claims such as the one that's staring you in the face?

* You need legal assistance PROMPTLY. You should contact the association's attorney as well as the insurance agent immediately and have some frank discussions about what's coming, and then let the professionals guide the board's decisions. In the meantime, get names and addresses of potential witnesses. With luck you'll be able to get written statements, but you should let the attorney deal with this to prevent being accused of coercing the witnesses.

I wish you the best.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:159


11/23/2018 8:15 AM  
Sue,
I agree with the advice given by both Melissa and Cathy. My questions are pretty simple and I think obvious.

1) Why would a guy who has sued your association be allowed to help volunteer?

2) The board members are usually covered by the HOA insurance. Why are they not doing the work?


3) First time I have ever heard of a Chairman of Insurance committee. Do you have that many claims?


4) This COI should be doing what they can to avoid claims before they happen and not ignoring them after they happen. He needs a new job.


How bug is your HOA?
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5950


11/23/2018 8:57 AM  
Are you on the board, SueW?

Never heard of such a Committee either so sounds like you're a large HOA. In any case, the board is completely responsible for committee members. What authority does the Committee's charter give it and the committee's chair?
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:159


11/23/2018 9:20 AM  
Sue,
I got an idea. Make the Chairman of Insurance your volunteer handyman. He said he does not want to file any claims so you won't have to worry about him getting hurt.
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3123


11/23/2018 4:22 PM  
Well, as soon as that guy's lawyer files a claim, you can guarantee your insurance company is going to give you notice to drop you. Since all insurance companies share this claim info, the ones left who might insure you will charge a very high rate.

Someone needs to go. The person who decided it was ok, for the guy who sued the HOA to continue doing stuff for the HOA. I would ask for his resignation.

This issue wont be over for a long, long time.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16045


11/24/2018 5:56 AM  
Posted By SueW11 on 11/23/2018 5:35 AM

He was found unconscious on the side of the Associations road and the cart tipped. Folks came to his aid and he awoke & refused to go to ER.




Did anyone call 911?

OR

Did they simply handle the situation themselves (a bad idea)?
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7865


11/24/2018 9:16 AM  
SUE

Do not encourage linkage between him lifting an object than later cracking up his golf cart. Keep the incidents separate.
JenniferG11
(Texas)

Posts:530


11/24/2018 9:23 AM  
Posted By CathyA3 on 11/23/2018 6:05 AM
You're in a tough spot. Here are my thoughts, although many of them are after-the-fact and hindsight.

* I don't believe anyone other than the board decides whether to file a claim. However, the Chairman sees trouble on the horizon. Multiple claims can cause your insurance rates to rise dramatically or make your association totally uninsurable. This is obviously a bad thing.

* We don't use volunteers at all, mainly because of liability risks. Is the money you save worth dealing with less-than-professional work and insurance claims such as the one that's staring you in the face?

* You need legal assistance PROMPTLY. You should contact the association's attorney as well as the insurance agent immediately and have some frank discussions about what's coming, and then let the professionals guide the board's decisions. In the meantime, get names and addresses of potential witnesses. With luck you'll be able to get written statements, but you should let the attorney deal with this to prevent being accused of coercing the witnesses.

I wish you the best.




I agree with no volunteers. Penny wise and pound foolish.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5950


11/24/2018 9:32 AM  
We do have volunteers, e.g., our Social Committee. They'll start putting up holiday decorations in our 2 lobbies (high rise) and an exterior area. They are NOT permitted to climb ladders to, for example, decorate the areas of the Xmas trees that are out of reach. None are allowed to do anything "work" that involves electricity, heavy lifting or climbing.
PatJ1
(North Carolina)

Posts:47


11/24/2018 12:51 PM  
Posted By JenniferG11 on 11/24/2018 9:23 AM
Posted By CathyA3 on 11/23/2018 6:05 AM


I agree with no volunteers. Penny wise and pound foolish.





We just signed up for volunteer "Worker's Compensation" insurance. Saying no volunteers is hard. Our city awards Neighborhood Matching Grants that rely heavily on community pledged and worked volunteer hours. Volunteer hours, at $25.00 per hour must make up 1/2 of the monies requested.

We don't have volunteers doing anything other than raking, spreading pine needles, straw, seed and such, but without those hours we wouldn't have the monies from the Grants. Our latest check from the Grant was $20,000. Our out of pocket, $6,000 for all the work done.

Another thing, we have residents who just "volunteer" to do things. It's hard to be everywhere policing everyone.

Board members are volunteers. Many have no idea what they're doing. Educate them. Don't beat them up.
SueW11
(Florida)

Posts:2


11/24/2018 6:08 PM  

Thanks for all the feedback. Lots of things going on with this board.
Too bad folks get in over their heads. I'm trying to get help from others on this.

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