This blog is the fourth in a series of posts discussing an individual’s potential liability for the collective decisions made by their board. Be sure to read our previous posts online here.
When liability for any of these breaches is imposed on an individual director or trustee, the issue of indemnification arises. In New Jersey, because condominium associations are generally organized as not-for-profit corporations under the Nonprofit Corporation Act, indemnification may be available to an officer of an entity organized under this Act provided that the officer (1) “acted in good faith and in a manner which the [officer] reasonably believed to be in or not opposed to the best interests of the corporation,” and (2) “with respect to an criminal proceeding, the [officer] had no reasonable cause to believe the conduct was unlawful.” N.J.S.A. 15A:3-4(b). If the director can satisfy this standard, he can recover from the association both expenses incurred in the litigation and the amount paid in satisfaction of a judgment rendered against him. Id. However, entitlement to indemnification for a claim for punitive damages will not likely be available because it is generally against public policy to provide indemnification for punitive damages. Johnson & Johnson v. Aetna Cas., 285 N.J. Super. 575 (App. Div. 1995).