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Homeowners’ Association Has No Duty to Maintain Stop Sign

July 11, 2017

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In <a href="http://blog.wcmlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Brown-v-Russaw-and-Emerald-Lakes-Association-1.pdf">Brown v Russaw and Emerald Lakes Association</a>, the court granted summary judgment in favor of a homeowner’s association in a motor vehicle accident case involving a missing stop sign.  Plaintiff alleged personal injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident that occurred when she was struck by another vehicle which had entered the intersection from a roadway at which a stop sign was missing.
The issue of whether a private community association has a duty to maintain or replace a stop sign was a matter of first impression under Pennsylvania law.  The Defendant association pointed to analogous cases involving municipalities which indicated that there was no duty upon a municipality to erect, maintain, or replace a missing stop sign at an intersection.   Although the court acknowledged that the defendant community association was not a municipality, the court felt that the municipality cases were indeed analogous and noted that, if a municipality has no obligation to erect, maintain, or repair stop signs, then, for the same reasons, a private road owner likewise did not have that obligation.
Therefore, a private association that maintains its own private roads, is under no duty to erect traffic control signs, including stop signs, or to repair or replace them, even if they know they are missing.
Thanks to Hillary Ladov for her contribution to this post.

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