The owners of condos in the Champlain Towers South 12-story building in Surfside near Miami that collapsed on Thursday have launched a class-action lawsuit against the building’s association, reported NPR.
The owners say that the Champlain Towers South Condominium Association did not "secure and safeguard the lives and property" of plaintiff Manuel Drezner and other owners, alleges the complaint filed by the Brad Sohn Law Firm.
The lawsuit "seeks to compensate the victims of this unfathomable loss.”
The claim shows an aerial photo of the devastation caused when half the building collapsed.
The plaintiffs are seeking damaged in excess of $5 million, "due to Defendant's acts and omissions and their failure to properly protect the lives and property of Plaintiff and Class members,” with the final amount to be determined by trial.
The claim quotes public statements by the condo association’s Kenneth Direktor, according to NPR, that state the building’s structure needed fixing, and that "repair needs had been identified.”
The class action suit further alleges that the disaster could have been prevented "through the exercise of ordinary care, safety measures, and oversight” while claiming that the association failed their duties to disclose information about safety issues and the building’s structural integrity.
The lawsuit alleges that the 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."
Sohn stated that he believes there will likely be further injury-related lawsuits.
The cause of the building’s collapse remains unknown.
Officials said it will take months for an investigation to find answers, reported NBC 6 South Florida.
On Friday, reports emerged that a researcher's 2020 paper detailed evidence that the building had shown signs that it had been sinking since the 1990s.
“I looked at it this morning and said, ‘Oh my G-d.’ We did detect that,” Shimon Wdowinsky, a Florida International University professor, told USA Today.
As of Friday afternoon, 159 people were still unaccounted for, four people had died, and 120 people had been accounted for.
Surfside is a heavily Jewish town. Many of the residents of the building are Jewish, including those unaccounted for.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)