The Second Department, reversing (modifying) Supreme Court, determined individual condominium board members could be liable under the business judgment rule for unequal treatment of shareholders with respect to the assessment of common charges:
“The business judgment rule is applicable to the board of directors of cooperative and condominium corporations” … . The rule provides that “a court should defer to a [condominium] board’s determination ‘[s]o long as the board acts for the purposes of the [condominium], within the scope of its authority and in good faith'” … . Unequal treatment of shareholders is sufficient to overcome the directors’ insulation from liability under the business judgment rule … , and a director who participates in the commission of a tort committed by the board may be held individually liable … .
Here, the complaint sufficiently alleged a cause of action sounding in breach of fiduciary duty against the individual defendants. The complaint also sufficiently alleged a cause of action sounding in fraud against the individual defendants to the extent that the plaintiff seeks damages for the overassessment of common charges … . 72 Poplar Townhouse, LLC v Board of Mgrs. of the 72 Poplar St. Condominium, 2024 NY Slip Op 00606, Second Dept 2-7-24
Practice Point: Here the complaint stated causes of action for breach of fiduciary duty and fraud against individual condominium board members for unequal treatment of shareholders in the assessment of common charges.