Do Business Owners Have a Legal Obligation to Report COVID Cases? Peter Sachs Clarifies the Procedure


Q. “I’m a yoga teacher in South Florida. I found out that a student who had been in one of my classes came down with COVID-19. The student with COVID told the yoga studio owner, but the owner did not tell me or anyone who was in that class. Was there a legal obligation for the studio owner to share this information with me or the people in the class? I feel like we all should have been told so we would know to get tested.” — Concerned instructor   A. “There’s no legal requirement. It’s more of a moral responsibility,” said attorney Peter Sachs, a founding partner and chairman emeritus of the law firm Sachs Sax Caplan in Boca Raton. “The yoga studio owner has an obligation to maintain a safe environment for her customers,” Sachs said. “In my opinion, this responsibility would include an obligation to notify the other students in the class that one of the students (name should remain confidential) they participated in class with had come down with a contagious disease such as COVID-19. The yoga studio owner breached that duty by withholding this information either intentionally or negligently.” There might have been a legal remedy if the teacher contracted COVID-19 from the student in her class, Sachs said. “There is no remedy for simply not notifying her,” Sachs said. “Her option without anything else would be to stop doing business with that studio.”  Questions appeared in the Sun-Sentinel
  97 Hits
  0 Comments
97 Hits
0 Comments

Loans to Purchase Condominium/Cooperative Units Likely to Become More Difficult to Obtain


The consequences of the tragic Champlain South Tower collapse in Surfside, Florida continue to be felt for many condominium associations and unit owners within the thousands of condominium and cooperative communities throughout Florida. For many older condominium and cooperative buildings in Florida and for those that expect significant expenses for deferred maintenance or which may have large special assessments anticipated or already in place, borrowing money to purchase units in these buildings is likely to become much more difficult. On October 13, 2021, Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) issued Lender Letter (LL-2021-14), titled Temporary Requirements for Condo and Co-op Projects, imposing new “temporary” rules and restrictions pertaining to Fannie Mae’s purchase of loans from primary lenders on the secondary market. For the most part, these new requirements go into effect on January 1, 2022. The details and complexities of the secondary mortgage market are beyond the scope of this column. However, suffice it to say that without assurances that the mortgages backing the loans given by primary lenders (banks, credit unions, etc.) will be purchased on the secondary market (particularly by Fannie Mae), most primary lenders will not be financing home purchases. Under the new requirements, any loans that are secured by units with “significant deferred maintenance” or buildings that have received a directive from a regulatory authority or an inspection agency to make repairs due to unsafe conditions are not eligible for purchase by Fannie Mae and will remain ineligible until the required repairs have been completed. Further, any loans for units in buildings that have failed to pass local regulatory inspections or recertifications are, similarly, ineligible for purchase (e.g., the “40-year recertifications” required in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, and, recently, the 30-year recertification in the City of Boca Raton). Under the new requirements, “significant deferred maintenance” may mean any of the following: 1) full or partial evacuation of the building to complete repairs is required for more than seven days or an unknown period of time (unlikely for most buildings); or2) the building has deficiencies, defects, substantial damage, or deferred maintenance that:a. affect the safety, soundness, structural integrity,...
Continue reading
  142 Hits
  0 Comments
142 Hits
0 Comments
TFB

 

Sachs Sax Caplan, P.L. is proud to be recognized by The Florida Bar for our commitment to hiring and developing Board Certified Attorneys.