Resident Files Lawsuit Against Condo Association of Collapsed Florida Building

SURFSIDE, FLORIDA - JUNE 24: Search and rescue personnel work in the rubble of the 12-story condo tower that crumbled to the ground after a partial collapse of the building on June 24, 2021 in Surfside, Florida. It is unknown at this time how many people were injured as search-and-rescue …
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A Florida resident filed a class action lawsuit late Thursday evening against the Champlain Towers South Condominium Association in Surfside after part of the building collapsed.

NBC Miami reports:

The lawsuit was filed by the Brad Sohn Law Firm, on behalf of plaintiff Manuel Drezner and “others similarly situated” at 11:29 p.m. on Thursday evening, hours after the partial collapse of the 12-story condo building in the town of Surfside. The suit seeks $5 million in damages “due to Defendant’s acts and omissions and their failure to properly protect the lives and property of Plaintiff and Class members.”

The lawsuit asserts the condo association disregarded the “rights of Plaintiff and Class members by intentionally, willfully, recklessly, or negligently doing the following: failing to take adequate and reasonable measures to ensure the safety and protection of its residents and their property, failing to disclose to its residents and visitors that it did not have adequate safety measures in place to safeguard occupants of Champlain Towers South, failing to take available steps to prevent the catastrophic collapse of the building, and failing to monitor the building and activities that led to the collapse of the building, among other things.”

Local officials said Friday that four people are confirmed dead and roughly 160 people remain unaccounted for as emergency rescue teams continue to search through the rubble to locate possible survivors.

“Any time that we hear a sound, we concentrate in that area,”Assistant Miami-Dade Fire Chief Raide Jadallah said. “It could be just steel twisting, it could be debris raining down, but not specifically sounds of tapping or sounds of a human voice.”

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava noted the rescue operation come with “extreme risk” due to possible falling debris from the partially collapsed building.

“Debris is falling on them as they do their work. We have structural engineers on site to ensure that they will not be injured, but they are proceeding because they are so motivated and they are taking extraordinary risk on the site every day,” she said.

With searchers using saws and jackhammers to look for pockets large enough to hold a person, Levine Cava said there was still hope of finding people alive.

Those missing from what was left of the 12-story Champlain Towers South included people from around the world: a beloved retired Miami-area teacher and his wife, Orthodox Jews from Russia, Israelis, the sister of Paraguay’s first lady, and others from South America.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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