Legislators Re-Introduced Bill to Restore COVID Legal Immunity for Homeowner Associations
The 10th District lawmakers are once again championing legislation that would extend legal protections that shield senior communities from legal action related to COVID.
Sen. Jim Holzapfel, Asm. Greg McGuckin and Asm. John Catalano sponsor bills that would reinstate legal immunity from COVID-related lawsuits for senior residential developments. (Pixabay)
Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano (all R-10) sponsor bills that would reinstate legal immunity from COVID-related lawsuits for senior residential developments. Legislation providing the temporary protection was enacted last summer but expired on New Year’s Day.
“Inexplicably, the Democrat leadership in Trenton failed to act on crucial legislation extending the protection permanently,” said Senator Holzapfel. “As a result, we’re back where we were last year, with senior communities across the state facing uncertainty as they prepare to open clubhouses and swimming pools for the summer season.
“Our LD 10 team sponsors legislation that would provide permanent immunity to planned real estate developments in the event of COVID exposure on the premises,” Holzapfel continued. “With support from the majority party, New Jersey seniors could look forward to a more normal summer.”
A year ago, communities were hesitant to allow residents to utilize social and recreational facilities, fearing liability from potential virus transmission. The 10th District legislators sponsored similar bills in the legislative session that concluded earlier this month, but they never moved.
“I was shocked that after last year, the Senate and Assembly Democrats failed to step up on behalf of more than a million New Jerseyans in senior communities,” said Assemblyman McGuckin. “Somehow, our legislation was overlooked as both houses passed hundreds of politically expedient measures.
“With the appropriate safeguards and the legal assurance, everything worked fine last summer,” McGuckin continued. “As this pandemic rolls on with no end in sight, there’s no reason not to make this solution permanent, and that’s exactly what our legislation will do.”
As with the expired law, to qualify for protection under the new measures (S-177 and A-729), communities would be required to post signage at the entrance to shared spaces including pools and gyms notifying visitors that by entering the areas they are waiving all civil liability for damages arising from COVID.
“Residents who invest their hard-earned money in communities so they can enjoy the amenities should have the option to enjoy what they pay for,” said Assemblyman Catalano. “After two years of the pandemic, people have learned to accept a reasonable level of risk when they leave the home, and they are tired of being told what they can’t do. Our seniors have earned the right to hang out at the pool and enjoy the clubhouse and gym in their communities.”
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