While rescue and recovery efforts are still underway, many residents of the collapsed condominium building in Miami are already filing lawsuits against the Champlain Towers South Condominium Association at Surfside.
By failing to warn the residents of the building that they were in danger and failing to make sure the building was structurally sound, the association was willfully and recklessly negligent. Miami condo collapse lawyers can help hold the responsible parties accountable.
Why Did the Miami Condos Collapse?
At this time, the cause of the building collapse is not known, and it will be months before the cause will be able to be determined. The building was clearly structurally deficient, and there are other factors that, when combined with the structural defects, could have led to the collapse. It has been suggested that corrosion from the nearby saltwater may have weakened the concrete.
In 2020, Florida International University professor Shimon Wdowinski conducted a study that determined the building had been sinking at a rate of two millimeters per year since the 1990s. Cracks in walls can be a sign that a building is becoming unstable.
There have also been reports that there were large cracks visible on the exterior of the building. In fact, Champlain Towers South Condominium Association was sued by a resident in 2015 when they failed to fix exterior cracks, which led to damage to their unit.
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How Much Can You Recover in the Surfside Condo Collapse Lawsuit?
If you were a victim of the Champlain Towers South Condominium collapse, you may be entitled to a settlement based on your specific damages. Some of the damages you can claim in a condo collapse lawsuit include the costs of your:
- Medical bills
- Property damage and destruction
- Equipment like wheelchairs and crutches
- Disability home and vehicle modifications
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
Your Miami personal injury lawyer will use evidence to prove your damages and negotiate with the association’s insurers to make sure you get a fair and adequate settlement.
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Who Owns the Champlain Towers in Miami?
Champlain Towers South was built in 1981 by a group of developers called Champlain Towers South Associates. The group, which owns the building, included the late Nathan Reiber, a philanthropist who developed many properties in the Miami area. That same year, the group built Champlain Towers North, and in 1991, the group constructed Champlain Towers East.
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How Many People Lived in Champlain Towers South?
At this time it is unknown exactly how many people were living in Champlain Towers South or how many people were home when the building collapse occurred. According to BocaNewsNow.com, there are currently 138 registered owners, including individuals, couples, and investment groups.
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Who Is Liable for the Miami Condo Collapse?
At this time, lawsuits have been filed against the Champlain Towers South Condominium Association at Surfside, which is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the building. However, this doesn’t mean the Association is the only possible defendant.
As the investigation into the building collapse continues and more is known about the causes behind it, more liable parties may be discovered. These could potentially include:
- The builders who constructed the towers
- Engineers who should have discovered the damage
- County inspectors who should have made sure the building was safe
- Those who were involved in constructing nearby buildings that could have caused the destabilization of the towers
Any combination of these parties may be determined to share liability in the collapse of the Champlain Towers South Condominium building. A condo collapse lawyer in Miami will identify all liable parties to increase your settlement.
Should a Building Inspection Have Uncovered the Damage?
The Surfside building was originally constructed in 1981. The building was 40 years old at the time of its collapse. Miami-Dade County requires high-rise buildings to be recertified every 40 years to make sure the structure and electrical systems are up to code. The building was in the process of being inspected when it collapsed.
The building’s association hired an engineer to complete the inspection. It is the inspectors’ job to make sure the building is safe for tenants to live in. The engineer did not note anything on their report that would indicate that the building was unsafe. However, it is possible that there were identifiable signs of an impending collapse that were overlooked and not reported.
Can You Sue if Your Loved One Died in the Condo Collapse?
In Florida, certain relatives are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit if their loved ones die through an act of negligence. These include:
- The spouse of the deceased
- The children of the deceased
- The parents of the deceased
Other relatives may also be able to sue if they can prove that they depended on the deceased for financial support. Your Miami condo collapse attorney will examine your evidence and tell you if you have a valid claim.
Get a Free Consultation With a Miami Condo Collapse Lawyer
If you or a loved one was a victim of this tragedy, you have rights under the law. Condo collapse lawyers in Miami can help protect your rights to see that justice is served. Let Pintas & Mullins create a legal strategy to ensure that you get maximum compensation.
Your life may never be the same if you were injured or you lost a family member when the Surfside condos collapsed, but a settlement can give you the support you need to move forward.