When the holidays roll around, we all want to show our neighbors and friends that we care about them by inviting them into our homes for the festivities. But did you know you can easily get sued? In this article, we will be taking you through crazy stories of homeowners getting sued.
Having your own home requires a lot of time and effort, whether it be paying property taxes to stop foreclosures, or preparing to sell your home. It's possible to get sued even though you follow all the requirements and have frequent inspections, and this is something you probably didn't realize to keep an eye out for.
What is an HOA agreement? In essence, an HOA agreement is a contract between the residents of a specific neighborhood. In the contract, the residents will agree to follow a set of rules in the hopes of preserving their home's value and maintaining the neighborhood's aesthetic cohesion.
HOAs must maintain the appearance of their neighbors' properties to keep property prices high. There are several ways they accomplish this, such as by managing the color of a home's exterior and maintaining the lawn and flowerbeds.
Owners may find some of the conditions ludicrous, but that doesn't make the agreements any less enforceable. Most HOA rules will be upheld as long as they aren't discriminatory or otherwise illegal. That means that most homes will have to follow suit.
So, shall we begin with the crazy stories of homeowners getting sued?
The First of our Crazy Stories of Homeowners Getting Sued: Getting Shot
In Portland, Indonesia, a convicted burglar sued a person who shot him in an attempted burglary. David Bailey, the alleged thief, admitted to the crime of burglary.
A civil suit was filed by Bailey two years after the shooting, claiming that the homeowner recklessly fired the gunshots. The homeowner's lawyer said his client thought it was ridiculous and agreed with him.
He replied that you don't usually expect someone to break into your home and sue you for damages.
According to the complaint, Bailey ran down the alley away from the defendant's apartment. The defendant (McLaughlin) continued to the public right-of-way (and off his property) and fired his firearm down the dark alley.
The bugler was shot in the back of the arm as he fled. As the complaint asserts, the homeowner claimed to his neighbors that he "had no idea what he was firing at."
McLaughlin "owed the plaintiff a responsibility to exercise reasonable care when he exited his property and began shooting rounds down a dark lane," according to the complaint.
In my opinion, it's ridiculous." It is the right of every Indiana homeowner to defend their property, including the right to use lethal force.
Pierce is convinced that the injured would-be thief, Bailey, will not receive a penny from the claim.
In Pierce's words, "We feel the system will work this time, and the plaintiff will not recover anything, and Mr. McLaughlin is to vindicate for defending his property," he stated.
Allegations of trespassing and unspecified damages were alleged in the case. Several calls to Bailey and his legal representatives went unanswered.
Homeowners sued after parking their trucks in their driveway.
Onondaga County Supreme Court has issued a summons to a Manlius, New York, couple for allegedly parking a pickup vehicle in their driveway. A lawsuit claiming the truck is not a personal vehicle was first filed by David and Arna Orlando in August last year.
It is the covenant of the 84-home community to allow only "private, passenger-type, pleasure autos" to be parked in driveways controlled by the association and not by the individual homeowners themselves.
It was contended by Paul Curtin, the association's counsel, that the pickup "is not a passenger vehicle by definition."
There appeared to be at least four seats in the pickup truck depicted in the accompanying photos. Curtin's reasoning doesn't hold water unless the vehicle also has four steering wheels. It's also registered as a "passenger car," according to David Orlando.
Any vehicle with at least four seat belts appears to be a passenger vehicle, regardless of Curtin's comments. Tom Cerio, Orlando's lawyer, has argued that the HOA's attempt to have the Orlando's park the vehicle in their garage is a massive overreach on the side of the HOA.
Possibly the Kimry Moor HOA has an anti-pickup truck stance? For example, their gas mileage and the dreaded carbon emissions may be factors. Based on the data in this research, it's impossible to say for sure, but it doesn't rule it out.
Orlando's have counter-sued the HOA for damages and attorney fees, saying that Kimry Moor has "impeded and interfered with the Orlando's peaceful use and enjoyment of their property.
In Seattle, Washington, a neighbors' lawsuit against a Seattle family over their barking dog might cost them more than $500,000, according to the family's lawyer.
Woodrow Thompson, a neighbor of Denise Norton, alleged that Norton's dog, Cawper, is renowned for raucously, crazily bellowing, wailing, and explosively barking. The lawsuit claimed that the dog's barking caused "deep emotional distress" and termed the dog an outrage with intentional infliction of mental distress.
The lawsuit claims that the dog's barks and howls reached 128 decibels through double-paned windows. Cawper would be louder than a chainsaw and thunder, according to research from Purdue University. Military jet takeoffs are louder than the bark of a dog.
In this case, how did Norton lose? She didn't answer because she felt the lawsuit was a joke, as she said to KOMO-TV. When it came to everything he was doing, "I just didn't believe it," Norton said. "I don't know why, but I just didn't believe it."
As a result of Norton's failure to intervene, the case was decided by default. According to Norton, the Sheriff arrived and posted paperwork on the garage, wall, and everything and says they were going to put the house on the market."
Wrong playhouse color
Becky Roger's decision to build a pink playhouse in her backyard for her granddaughter led to a lawsuit. Her HOA is suing her over the color of the playhouse, which is pink and has purple doors.
Although the playhouse is adorable for her 4-year-old granddaughter, Rogers-Peck's house is brown, and the playhouse doesn't match.
All sheds and garages must be painted in the same color as the house as a condition of HOA membership. So, Rogers-Peck is being sued for the building's mismatch.
Some homeowners weren't delighted with the board's decision to file a lawsuit, but the rest of the residents disagreed. Members at the HOA meeting were not pleased with how their dues were spent, according to WAGT.
According to Rogers-Peck, a few neighbors were upset over the pink playhouse. Rather than a shed, she maintains, it is a playhouse.
According to MSNBC, she wouldn't have had an issue if she'd purchased a pink Little Tykes Playhouse.
HOA elections were underway, and this lawsuit could tilt the scales favor a more pink-friendly board. If that doesn't happen, Rogers-Peck will have to defend herself or demolish the playhouse if the case continues.
One frigid day in January, an Amazon package arrived at Robert's door. The courier slipped and collapsed as he turned to leave Robert's front door.
It took a while for Robert to realize the man was hurt. His courier firm sent him an official letter three weeks later. For his time away from work, they would sue Robert for the injury to their employee's shoulder.
Nobody heard from Robert after that. Last week, Robert got a letter at his London home from lawyers claiming to represent the courier, not the corporation he works for.
The letter demands compensation for the man's injuries and gives Robert 28 days to pay or hand over the letter to his insurers, failing to file legal procedures.
You may be subject to liability under the Occupiers Liability Act, passed in 1984. Visitors' safety and well-being are the responsibilities of homeowners under this law. Householders who make their land open to the public, such as footpaths and roadways, must ensure that it is safe for people to traverse.
In this regard, if an obstruction on your property is likely to cause an accident, you are virtually certainly accountable if it occurs. People are more prone to fall on an icy or snow-covered path or driveway.
If you forget about government-owned sidewalks
According to the Portland man's $63,500 lawsuit, the 3-inch raised section of sidewalk caused him to injure his shoulder. This crazy story of homeowners getting sued has sparked questions that will be answered at the end of the story.
A quick recap of the article published on OregonLive.com- while out for some fresh air on June 25, 2013, Robert P. Simon claims that his wheelchair slammed onto an elevated portion of pavement near Northeast 45th Avenue and Hancock Street, and he hit the floor.
Suppose you own land next to a public sidewalk. In that case, you are legally obligated to repair it, and you are legally bound to assume any potential obligation for doing so, according to Portland's city ordinance.
Attorney Blake V. Robinson claims that J.G. Portland ignored a 2006 letter from the city warning that it had to repair its sidewalk. Each year, approximately 2,400 letters are sent out to property owners advising them that their sidewalks need repair, a spokesman for the Portland Bureau of Transportation.
For what reason does the city make it up to property owners to maintain their sidewalks?
It's safe to conclude that restoring all of those sidewalks would cost the city a lot of money and hike taxes, even if we couldn't receive a precise answer from the city.
Is it necessary for homeowners and business owners to clean the sidewalks outside their properties of leaves and snow?
Yes. For more than a century, city law has required property owners to keep their sidewalks in good condition. Since 1972, residents have been required to sweep their walkways of treacherous leaves and ice and snow (since 2002).
It is up to the city to maintain the sidewalks in front of municipal buildings (city hall, parks, etc.). Injuries sustained on an unsafe section of the city sidewalk may be protected by city law.
Homeowner Due to a False Trespasser's Lawsuit
A 90-year-old man was left helpless when a drug addict broke his door off its hinges and stormed into his home, rifling through his belongings. When the elderly man was held prisoner and told he could not move, he pleaded to use the restroom.
After successfully securing the intruder's consent, he returned with a 357-caliber handgun and pointed it straight at the intruder, and shot the drug addict in the jaw.
It was a three-hit show for the intrepid 90-year-old guerrilla. Note that our elderly victim was a former deputy sheriff and a military veteran.
Injured, the unwanted guest seized the.357 and pointed it towards his victim's head. By discovering that it was empty, he hurried outside, dialed 911, and claimed to have shot himself.
He was rushed to the hospital, where he was arrested immediately.
It wasn't until after his arrest that he sued the homeowner for negligence, saying that the older man had shot him accidentally out of spite since the invader had been seen visiting a female neighbor at his home.
Trespasser received an 86-year sentence.
Trapped Burglar Files Lawsuit Against Homeowner
Terence Dickson's story is an excellent illustration of a person's good sense going wrong. The door opener on the garage door didn't work, so he couldn't get out of the house he had just broken into and burglarized by using the garage as an escape route.
His connecting door had locked behind him when he tried to go back in. He was left with nothing but a case of Pepsi and a bag of dry dog food for the next eight days.
When he was rescued from the garage, Mr. Dickson filed a lawsuit against the homeowner's insurance company, claiming that he had experienced mental agony due to his incarceration. Because of his pain and suffering, Mr. Dickson was awarded $500,000.