Issakhani v. Shadow Glen Homeowners Association, Inc.

 Facts: A visitor attempts to park their car at a condominium complex governed by a homeowners’ association (HOA). The complex has fewer guest parking spaces than required by a parcel-specific ordinance. Unable to find parking at the complex, the visitor parks across the  street. When jaywalking across  the public street to reach the HOA property, the visitor is struck by a car and injured.

 Claim: The visitor seeks money losses for their injuries claiming the HOA caused the injuries due to their negligence for failing to have the required amount of parking spaces for visitors.

 Counterclaim: The HOA claims they owed the visitor no duty of care to provide onsite guest parking since their injuries occurred offsite before the visitor reached the HOA premises.

 Holding: A California court of appeals holds the visitor is not entitled to money losses for their offsite injury since the HOA has no duty to provide onsite parking for visitors in order to protect them from traffic accidents occurring off-site. [Issakhani v. Shadow Glen Homeowners Association, Inc. (2021) 63 CA5th 917]

Read the case text here.

Editor’s note – The ordinance relied on by the visitor was parcel-specific and intended to preserve the aesthetic character of the community, not protect visitors from the clear and obvious risk of traffic accidents. Thus, it did not form the basis for imposing a duty of care on the HOA.

 The California Supreme Court ruled on a similar set of facts in Vasilenko v. Grace Family Church. Here, the primary parking lot of a property designed for public gatherings was full and the owner instructed additional guests to park in an overflow parking lot across a busy five-lane street. A guest was struck by a car while crossing the street from the overflow parking lot to the property, sustaining injuries.

 The court held a property owner who maintains an offsite parking lot which requires invitees to cross a public street does not owe a duty of care to protect those invitees from the recognizable dangers of the public street.