FirstService Residential Educates Board Members on Avoiding Liability Exposures

Posted on Wednesday May 10, 2017



FirstService Residential recently hosted an interactive panel discussion during which leading legal experts examined ways that condo and co-op board members can minimize their liability exposure. More than 100 clients attended the event. 
 
“When conducting business on behalf of their associations, board members can expose themselves to substantial personal risk and potential liability. Any perceived breach of fiduciary responsibilities – including allegations of wrongful acts, financial mismanagement, negligence and errors in judgment – can lead to legal action,” said Dan Wurtzel, president, FirstService Residential New York. “This event was designed to help our volunteer board members avoid claims that can have potentially significant personal, professional and financial consequences.”
Panelists included Stuart M. Saft, real estate practice group leader, Holland & Knight; Geoffrey R. Mazel, founding partner, Hankin & Mazel, PLLC; Dale J. Degenshein, special counsel, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP and Benjamin C. Kirschenbaum, vice president and general counsel, FirstService Residential.
 
Topics ranged from quality of life disputes between neighbors to the dangers of conducting board business via email to handling wage and hour claims. The subject of cyber liability insurance generated the most discussion. 
 
Cyber liability insurance is designed to mitigate the costs associated with a computer breach. Without such a policy, an association is responsible for paying the costs to defend itself against lawsuits brought by residents, government fines, notifying affected owners of the theft, repairing damage to the property’s reputation and more. The common general liability and Directors and Officers (D&O) liability insurance policies carried by boards and associations, and the professional liability policies carried by managing agents, will not fully cover claims related to identity theft or unauthorized disclosure of personal information. 
 
Due to the tremendous interest in this topic, FirstService Residential summarized the advice provided by the panel in a white paper. To download Reduce Your Association’s Risk with Cyber Liability Insurance, click here.
 
CAPTION:
FirstService Residential hosted an interactive panel discussion for its clients titled "Protecting Your Cooperative and Condominium Assets: Liability Exposures Facing Board Members." Pictured are: (L-R) Chris De Weaver, managing director, FirstService Residential (moderator); Geoffrey R. Mazel, Hankin & Mazel; Stuart M. Saft, Holland & Knight; Dale J. Degenshein, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan; and Benjamin C. Kirschenbaum, vice president and general counsel, FirstService Residential.



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