An Attorney's Fees Award Far In Excess of the Damages Recovered

In Mountain View Condominium Association v. Bomersbach, 734 A.2d 468 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1999), the Court affirmed an attorney's fees award far in excess of the damages recovered. The appellant in Mountain View refused to pay condominium fees. In suing to collect the past due fees, the condominium association incurred nominal attorney's fees; however, the appellant refused to pay attorney's fees pursuant to the association's governing rules. A battle raged on and, in the end, the association incurred over $ 46,000 in attorney's fees to collect less than $ 3,500 in association fees. The court of common pleas awarded the association the full attorney's fees incurred. Rejecting the appellant's claims the fees were unreasonable, the Court noted the rules governing the parties' relationship specifically provided an award of fees, and therefore, the association was not required to accept less than the full sum to which it was entitled. The defensive manner in which the appellant waged battle over her contractual obligations supported the award of attorney's fees.