Condominiums, like any other building, should be safe to occupy. Building collapses like the one that occurred on June 24, 2021 in Surfside, Florida, should never happen. Building owners, and any other parties, who may be liable for the collapse and resulting deaths and/or injuries, should be held legally liable for their negligence and reckless actions.
If you or someone you love was injured, killed, displaced or otherwise impacted by the Surfside condo collapse, you should immediately consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to learn more about your legal options.
Potential Causes of the Catastrophic Collapse
There are more questions than answers after the 12-story building collapsed in Surfside, Florida on Thursday, June 24, 2021. The catastrophe left at least four people dead, 11 injured and more than 150 still unaccounted for in the small Miami Beach community. While the exact cause of the disaster is not immediately clear, there are some speculations so far about what may have caused the 136-unit building to inexplicably crumble.
According to reports, the building, which was constructed on reclaimed wetlands, has been slowly sinking. Building on unstable land could have caused damage to the foundations over time. When buildings experience significant ground movement, large cracking can occur, causing structural damage. Public records do show that two lawsuits were filed by residents over cracks in a unit’s exterior wall. In one of the lawsuits, the condo owner filed lawsuit in Miami-Dade County in 2015 alleging the cracks led to water damage that cost $15,000 in repair. The court documents noted that because the cracks were a structural issue, the building association was liable for the expense.
There was also construction work ongoing nearby, and investigators will need to consider whether this could have disturbed the foundation. This nearby construction work could have created ground movement under nearby buildings due to vibrations or deep excavations work.
The recent work on the building’s roof will also have to be investigated as a potential cause for the collapse. The building was also undergoing a 40-year recertification, as is required in Florida, and early media reports are that this process had not identified any major issue with the building.
Who Is Liable in a Building Collapse Accident?
Determining who is responsible after a catastrophic building collapse can be a complicated process. Many combined variables can contribute to construction that results in a building becoming structurally unsound.
These entities range from:
- Property owners
- Original developers of the building
- Persons who reviewed and approved the original building plans
- Building inspectors
- Material suppliers
- Contractors and construction crew
Additionally, thoroughly investigating building collapse cases can take a long time, potentially years depending on the age of a collapsed building.
Injured victims and survivors of those who lost their lives in the catastrophe may find this lengthy time period stressful because of piling medical expenses, lost wages resulting from lengthy recoveries, emotional trauma and loss, catastrophic injuries, or worst-case scenario—wrongful death of a parent, child, spouse, or partner. As such, it is imperative to hire an experienced personal injury attorney to protect your legal rights and get you the full compensation that you and your loved ones deserve.
Contact Our Personal Injury Attorneys
If you or a family member suffered a serious injury or loss of life because of the Florida building collapse, you need to immediately contact an experienced personal injury attorney to protect your legal rights and get you the full compensation that you deserve. For more information or to consult with our legal team, please call Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. at 212-385-4410. We are working with our Miami co-counsel on investigating these matters.