The collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium has been a human tragedy of unimaginable proportions, and the unspeakable grief and horror of its aftermath have been shared deeply by our law firm.
Our firm’s community association law attorneys have made helping condominium communities to contend with construction defects a particular focus of our work. We believe reforms should be considered to require engineers to report certain serious conditions to local building departments wherever they find them. This would take discretion out of equation and immediately involve building inspections, permits being issued and repairs being completed. We also suggest there should be new federal/state government aid and/or low-interest federally backed loans for condominium associations that now engage in major structural repairs.
Our attorneys are also concerned by the great deal of misinformation that is currently circulating over the legal liabilities of association board members. We note that lawsuits against a condo association are ultimately against the building’s insurer and possibly all the unit owners, as the owners can be held responsible for their association’s liabilities. The firm’s attorneys have been reaching out to our clients to remind them of importance of prioritizing engineering findings in their turnovers to new board members and property managers, and to focus on structural issues over aesthetics and fund reserve accounts for any necessary repairs.
Our firm’s attorneys have also been sharing their insights on these and other issues with major media outlets as well as some of Florida’s lawmakers and policymakers, and we have scheduled a free live webinar on 40-year recertifications and structural maintenance for today at 1 p.m. (click here for information and online registrations). The Sun Sentinel and Daily Business Review immediately turned to our board certified construction and condominium law experts for their input in the aftermath of the collapse. A front-page article in the Sun Sentinel that appeared in the Friday, June 25, edition titled “How to Know if Your Condo Tower is Safe” includes insights from firm partners Stuart Sobel (pictured here) and Roberto C. Blanch. The article reads: