But Palm Beach County Clerk Reports Case Filed By Homeowners Is Still Open, As HOA President Writes Delaire Fears Lawsuit Expense.
BY: STAFF REPORT | BocaNewsNow.com
DELRAY BEACH, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2022 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — In what legal observers call a “bizarre” email, the President of Delaire Country Club claims that the HOA has settled a case brought by two homeowners who argue that Delaire imposed inappropriate COVID-19 restrictions. President Andy Lynette wrote that the country club settled the case, fearing the expense of litigation.
“By settling we would avoid the time-consuming and disruption to the community and Board, which could potentially cause further divide among our community as well as the financial risk involved in our insurance deductible of $50,000,” wrote Lynette in an email obtained by BocaNewsNow.com. “In addition, (our litigation committee) pointed out there is never any guarantee as to the outcome of litigation.”
As we reported on January 19th, Mark and Joanie Schneebaum sued Delaire after being sanctioned for allegedly violating the club’s COVID-19 rules by attending an event in the clubhouse without providing proof of vaccine. The Schneebaums claimed that the requirement violated Florida law. They filed suit, asking the courts to answer this question: can a private HOA institute its own rules that differ from a Governor’s executive orders? Florida Governor Ron DeSantis prohibited vaccine mandates in the State. The Schneebaums argued that the order applies to their HOA, and sued after being Delaire suspended Joanie Schneebaum from using amenities at Delaire for several months.
That suspension was lifted as part of the settlement.
“The elimination of the suspension at this time seemed like a fair and appropriate action to take, given that Joanie has already served nearly two months suspensions, which is much longer than any other COVID-related grievance suspension served by any member.”
Observers say that in sending an email blast acknowledging fear of lawsuit expense, Delaire exposed itself to future litigation over all grievances — with homeowners now knowing that Delaire is lawsuit-averse.
Read the complete email, below. Lawsuits filed by other Delaire homeowners, also over COVID-19 related violations and sanctions, remain active. We note that the Schneebaum’s case also remains “active” in the Palm Beach County court system as of Saturday morning, despite the email, below.Schneebaum-Settlement
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