Firm shareholders Helio De La Torre and Lindsey Thurswell Lehr, together with associate Berenice M. Mottin-Berger, have worked for more than four years in representing the BrickellHouse Condominium Association in litigation over the property’s failed robotic parking garage. Their work yielded a truly exceptional result last week when a Miami-Dade Circuit Court jury awarded the association $40,590,990 in damages against BrickellHouse Holding LLC, the developer of the 46-story tower in Miami’s Brickell area, and many of South Florida’s most respected media organizations took notice. The verdict yielded major articles this week in the Miami Herald, Daily Business Review, South Florida Business Journal, The Real Deal and Law 360 about the trial team’s success in demonstrating to the jury that the developer, a subsidiary of Newgard Development Group, breached statutory warranties owed to the association and its unit owners.
“The association has been left without parking for its residents in the promised 480 vehicle garage since November 2015,” explained De La Torre to reporters after the verdict. “Since that date, residents have been parking offsite and incurring increased costs due to the failed robotic parking system sold by the developer. The board of directors and a team of consultants have worked very hard to find a solution for the garage and bring the owners the justice they deserve.”
Thurswell Lehr concluded:
“As a result of the verdict, the condominium association will now be able to move forward with the replacement of the garage in order to restore the parking for the building that the owners and residents deserve.”
BrickellHouse is located at 1300 Brickell Bay Drive and features 374 residences. The 46-story tower was one of the first post-recession condo buildings constructed in the Brickell area. After its completion in October 2014, the problems with the 480-space robotic parking system were immediately apparent. The developer retained control of the condominium association through September 2015, and the robotic parking system was completely shut down in November 2015.
Below is a video depicting how the garage was designed to use a fleet of autonomous robots that move beneath the vehicles to lift and move them throughout the building and elevators. Click here to read the Miami Herald article in the newspaper’s website, click here for the Daily Business Review article (registration required) and click here for The Real Deal.