New Surfside condo lawsuit blames construction at building next door for deadly collapse

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New Surfside condo lawsuit blames construction at building next door for deadly collapse

A new lawsuit filed in the deadly collapse of a Florida beachfront condo building blames the construction of another high-rise next door for the tragedy that killed 98 people.

The suit, filed late Tuesday, alleges that the June 24 collapse of Champlain Towers South was caused by vibrations from the construction of the adjacent Eighty Seven Park Tower, WFOR-TV reported.

The lawsuit claims the fallen tower “was an older building in need of repairs and maintenance, but it was not until excavation and construction began on the luxury high-rise condominium next door” that it became unsafe. “The collapse was entirely preventable.”

It alleges that excavation, pile-driving and other construction work at the site of the new high-rise further compromised the aging Champlain building next door, WFOR said.

Champlain Towers South was in the midst of a required 40-year structural review and on the verge of a $15 million upgrade when it collapsed.

In this aerial view, the cleared lot that was where the collapsed 12-story Champlain Towers South condo building once stood on July 31, 2021 in Surfside, Florida. A total of 98 people died when the building partially collapsed on June 24, 2021.
A lawsuit alleges that the June 24 collapse of Champlain Towers South was caused by vibrations from the construction of the adjacent Eighty Seven Park Tower.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A 2018 engineering report flagged “major structural damage” at the site, particularly in a pool deck atop an underground garage where experts believe the foundation gave way.

But the new 169-page suit notes that vibrations from the work next door and groundwater runoff from a road between the two properties fueled the collapse.

In a statement to the news outlet, David Weinstein, an attorney for the developers of the neighboring building, denied work there played any role in the tragedy.

A view of the Champlain Towers South, where the 12-story beachfront condominium partially collapsed last Thursday is located next to the Eighty Seven Park condominiums in Surfside, Florida, on Wednesday, June 30, 2021.
Excavation, pile-driving and other construction work at Eighty Seven Park further compromised the aging Champlain building next door, the lawsuit alleges.
The Washington Post via Getty Im

“As numerous media reports have documented, Champlain Towers South was improperly designed, poorly constructed, significantly underfunded, and inadequately maintained and repaired,” Weinstein said.

“We expect a full review of the facts — and the ongoing investigation by (the National Institute for Standards and Technology) — will affirm our position,” he added.

NIST officials said a full review of the Champlain collapse could take up to two years.

A view of the Eighty Seven Park condominiums located next to the Champlain Towers South, where the 12-story beachfront condominium partially collapsed last Thursday in Surfside, Florida, on Wednesday, June 30, 2021.
The Eighty Seven Park condominiums are located next to where the Champlain Towers South once stood.
The Washington Post via Getty Im

The new lawsuit, filed as a class-action claim, is just the latest legal action taken by survivors and relatives of victims of the doomed building.

It does not identify a monetary figure for damages sought.

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