Homeowner Association Could Be Sued In Trayvon Martin Case [View all]
(04-09) 00:06 PDT Sanford, Fla. (AP) --
If Trayvon Martin's family sues over his death, they might not target George Zimmerman but instead the homeowners association of the neighborhood where the shooting happened and Zimmerman lived.
That's because if Zimmerman's claim that he shot the unarmed 17-year-old in self-defense is upheld by prosecutors, a judge or a jury, Florida's so-called stand your ground law would protect him from a lawsuit. But his clearance or acquittal wouldn't stop Martin's parents from suing The Retreat at Twin Lakes homeowners association — and its insurance policies and assets would make it a much more lucrative target than Zimmerman, even if he is eventually convicted of a crime.
Plus, lawyers say, Exhibit A would be a newsletter sent by the association to residents in February, the same month as the shooting. It said Zimmerman was the go-to person for residents who had been the victims of a crime.
Under the heading "Neighborhood Watch," the newsletter's message recommended that residents first call police and then "please contact our Captain, George Zimmerman ... so he can be aware and help address the issue with other residents."