The Miami area experienced a shock when the 12-story Surfside condo building—housing 136 units—collapsed into a pile of rubble. The collapse resulted in multiple deaths, injuries, and unaccounted-for homeowners, and authorities began what will likely be a lengthy clean-up effort and investigation into who might have caused this tragic and avoidable occurrence.
As families begin to learn that they lost close loved ones in the Miami collapse, they may wonder about their legal rights. If someone else’s negligence led to the collapse, family members of the deceased can file wrongful death claims, and injured individuals can file premises liability claims to seek financial recovery for their losses.
Negligence in Building Construction or Maintenance
Back in 2003, a crowded apartment balcony in Chicago suddenly collapsed, causing two balconies below it to also fall and resulting in the deaths of 13 people and injuries to 57 others. In the investigation that followed, investigators alleged that poor construction contributed to the collapse.
While the cause of the Miami condo building collapse is unknown at this time, investigators have already started working to identify the cause.
The reasons for the collapse might lead to liability on the part of different parties, such as:
- Building owners or managers knew or had reason to know about defects in the building design and failed to address them
- Building owners or managers knew or had reason to know of repair needs and did not fix them
- Inspectors overlooked maintenance needs or design defects
- The condo association knew of necessary repairs and did not fix them
- Maintenance and repair crews failed to properly conduct necessary work on the building
Put simply, if anyone knew of the dangers of a collapse and failed to take the necessary action to make the building safe or warn inhabitants, the law should hold those parties liable for the loss of life and injuries that resulted from the collapse.
Seeking Recovery for Devastating Losses
Families of deceased victims of building collapses can seek financial recovery for wrongful death from negligent parties.
Florida law allows qualified family members (usually a surviving spouse, children, or parents) to file a claim seeking damages for:
- Loss of financial support of the deceased
- Loss of household services
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of parental guidance
- Mental pain and suffering
- Any expenses for medical care or funerals the family members covered
Those who suffered injuries in a building collapse may file a premises liability claim against negligent parties to seek recovery for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Future losses
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent impairments or disfigurement
Seek Help From Our Florida Premises Liability Attorneys
At the Law Offices of Jared Spingarn, we know the South Florida community is reeling from the condo building collapse, and our law firm is ready to help. Contact us for more information about how our firm can assist you and your family if you suffered losses in this tragic event.
800 SE 4th Avenue, Suite 806
Hallandale Beach, FL 33009