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Condominium Unit Owner May Not Sue Individual Members of Board of Managers in Dispute Over Common Charge Allocation

A commercial condominium unit owner who disagreed with the allocation of its common charges may not sue the individual members of the Board of Managers for having voted for the allocation. In Cielo Garage Owners Co., LLC v. Board of Managers of the Cielo Condominium, 2019 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 4590, 2019 N.Y. Slip Op. 32468(U) (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Co. Aug. 20, 2019), the owner of a garage unit asserted that its common charges had been computed incorrectly in violation of the By-Laws and a prior settlement agreement.  In addition to suing the Board of Managers and the managing agent, the unit owner asserted claims against all the residential members of the Board.

The court dismissed all claims against the individuals. The breach of contract claims against the individuals were dismissed because none of the individual defendants were parties to either the settlement agreement or the By-Laws.  The claim against the individuals for breach of fiduciary duty was dismissed because the unit owner did not allege that “the individual board members committed an independent wrong that was distinct from the actions taken as a board collectively.”  Ganfer Shore Leeds & Zauderer represented the successful individual defendants in this case.