Condo Media - June 2020 - 51

concerns will not allow her to identify the
name of the resident or where they live.
From Mr. Smith's perspective, if the
resident is in Tower A, that is good news
since he lives in Tower C. The two probably did not share an elevator. If they live
in the same tower or the same floor, Mr.
Smith may have breathed in microscopic
droplets carrying the virus and if he gets
the virus, it could very well kill him. In
such unprecedented circumstances as a
pandemic that has essentially shutdown
our normal way of life, isn't the manager
justified in telling residents the identity
and location of the sick resident? The
board and management can actually save
lives - or, at the very least, enhance their
ability to protect the health of residents -
by giving out private information. If ever
there was an instance to put privacy aside,
now is the time, or so the argument goes.
Under this line of thinking, knowledge
is power. If Mr. Smith played pinochle
with the sick resident, he needs to get
tested. If he's never been around the
sick resident, he can calm his nerves.
Notifying residents can be seen as a
protective measure, and moreover, the
board can insulate itself from liability if
other residents get sick since they were
made aware of the increased risk. If the
hospitalized resident was recently in the
common gym (prior to it rightfully being
shutdown), dozens of other residents
may have been exposed to the illness.
Those residents could sue the board
about failing to warn them of the risk
and/or failing to properly clean the gym.
THE FLIP SIDE OF THE COIN
Mr. Jones lives in the same complex as
Mr. Smith. He is our sick resident who
has been at Mass. General for the past
week trying to recover from the effects of
the virus. Mr. Jones only hopes to fully
recover and does not in any way want his
identity to be broadcast to the 120 other
residents of his condo. He worries that
he's going to be treated like a leper upon
his eventual return. Like any individual,
Mr. Jones has a well-established legal
right to privacy over his personal information, especially medical information.
The board is exposing itself to significant

liability by divulging any personal
information about residents, but medical
information in particular.
Moreover, what if Mr. Jones does not
actually have COVID-19? Like an oldschool game of telephone, Sally hears
that Mr. Jones is in the hospital for the
stomach bug which left him dehydrated
but by the time Johnny hears about Mr.
Jones several retellings later, Mr. Jones
is in the hospital due to COVID-19. In
this instance, not only did the board and
management divulge personal information, it was incorrect information. Again,
the board has exposed itself to significant liability.
WHAT TO DO?
In both scenarios, there is risk of liability. There is simply no clear answer
with no downside. The consensus at our
office was that boards should not divulge
the actual identify of anyone who
contracts the illness. Surely there were
dissenters who believed the exigent cir-

cumstances of a deadly pandemic would
justify divulging such information, but
the clear majority felt otherwise.
If the situation is such that the
general area the sick resident lives in
can be provided without identifying
the actual person, that should be done.
In the example above, stating the sick
resident lives in Tower A, not B or C,
gives enough information to be helpful
without risking outing the resident.
If the sick person is known to use the
clubhouse or the pool, I would divulge
that as well. Such info allows residents
who also use the pool or clubhouse to
know they were particularly at risk.
These are crazy times we are living in.
My hope is that when you read this,
those crazy times are behind us.
n DEAN LENNON, ESQ. IS A PARTNER
IN THE LAW FIRM MARCUS, ERRICO,
EMMER & BROOKS IN BRAINTREE, MA.

Secure Residential Services, LLC
Secure Residential Services, LLC is an independent consulting firm
specializing in security and liability issues in the residential property
management setting.
We provide general physical security risk assessments, security
technology, staffing and full program assessments as well as related
project management services. We also provide policy and procedure
review and development services, Director of Security services "by the
hour", incident follow-up and many other related services.
We are both property management & protection professional certified
with 30 years of experience.
Christopher R. Lanni CPP, CMCA, AMS
Secure Residential Services, LLC
300 Baker Avenue, Suite 300
Concord, MA 01742
Office: (978) 212-5823
Fax: (978) 405-3301
chrislanni@secure-residential.com
www.secure-residential.com

June 2020 CONDOMEDIA

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Condo Media - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Condo Media - June 2020

Contents
Condo Media - June 2020 - Cover1
Condo Media - June 2020 - Cover2
Condo Media - June 2020 - Contents
Condo Media - June 2020 - 2
Condo Media - June 2020 - 3
Condo Media - June 2020 - 4
Condo Media - June 2020 - 5
Condo Media - June 2020 - 6
Condo Media - June 2020 - 7
Condo Media - June 2020 - 8
Condo Media - June 2020 - 9
Condo Media - June 2020 - 10
Condo Media - June 2020 - 11
Condo Media - June 2020 - 12
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Condo Media - June 2020 - 16
Condo Media - June 2020 - 17
Condo Media - June 2020 - 18
Condo Media - June 2020 - 19
Condo Media - June 2020 - 20
Condo Media - June 2020 - 21
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Condo Media - June 2020 - 26
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Condo Media - June 2020 - 28
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Condo Media - June 2020 - Cover3
Condo Media - June 2020 - Cover4
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