On June 24, 2021, part of a 12-story beachfront condo building tragically collapsed in Surfside, Florida, sending apartments to the ground below and trapping many residents in the rubble. As of July 13, 2021, the death toll reached 95 after the recovery of another victim, with 85 of those victims now identified, and 14 more potential victims yet to be pulled from the wreckage.
Following the collapse, a report surfaced regarding a previous inspection of the condo building that flagged major structural issues almost three years before the collapse, citing “design flaws and failing waterproofing that would lead to ‘exponential damage.’” The report specifically cited the areas underneath planters and pool as concerning. While the pool deck mostly survived the collapse, Fort Lauderdale general contractor and construction defect attorney Gregg Schlesinger opines that the issues specified in the report could suggest there were other hidden problems. Additional reports have now surfaced indicating that concerns regarding the stability of the pool deck were raised as far back as 25 years ago.
Needless to say, litigation stemming from the condo collapse is imminent. As is typical in construction litigation, we can expect the various parties—the building management, engineers, architects, and other key players—to point fingers at each other. As litigation ensues, a Florida judge appointed a receiver at a hearing in early July to handle financial matters for the condo association in litigation over the building collapse. According to reports at the hearing, five lawsuits had already been filed, and more are sure to be on the way, in what will likely be a messy and drawn-out legal battle.
Our attorneys have experience handling a variety of civil litigation matters, including significant construction litigation experience. If you need assistance in maintaining or defending a civil lawsuit in state or federal court in North Carolina, please call us at (704) 457-1010 to schedule a consultation. For more information regarding our firm, attorneys, and practice areas, please visit http://www.lindleylawoffice.com/.