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Florida condo resident claims the building ‘swayed like a piece of paper’ in a new lawsuit

Summary List PlacementA third lawsuit has been filed against the condominium association of the now-collapsed Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Florida.  The lawsuit was filed by Raysa Rodriguez, who lived in Unit 907 of the condominium. According to the Miami Herald, she lived in the building for 17 years and was just a few payments short of fully paying off her mortgage. The filing is still awaiting redactions from the Miami-Dade County Clerk and has not been released to the public yet, but the Miami Herald reported that Rodriguez filed a class-action suit similar to the first lawsuit filed against the...

aftermath of Florida condo collapse

Summary List Placement

A third lawsuit has been filed against the condominium association of the now-collapsed Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Florida. 

The lawsuit was filed by Raysa Rodriguez, who lived in Unit 907 of the condominium. According to the Miami Herald, she lived in the building for 17 years and was just a few payments short of fully paying off her mortgage.

The filing is still awaiting redactions from the Miami-Dade County Clerk and has not been released to the public yet, but the Miami Herald reported that Rodriguez filed a class-action suit similar to the first lawsuit filed against the Champlain Towers South Condominium Association by resident Manuel Drezner.

According to the Miami Herald, however, Rodriguez’s filing requests that the two previously filed lawsuits against the condominium association be consolidated, as  well as that all evidence is kept to find out “who is to blame for this tragedy and all of them are held responsible.”

Rodriguez’s lawsuit also contains harrowing descriptions of her experience of the disaster where she said the building “swayed like a piece of paper.” 

A rumbling woke her in the middle of the night while she was in bed sleeping, the Herald said. Rodriguez tried to turn on her bedroom lamp but realized there was no power.

“A wall of dust hit me,” Rodriguez said, according to the Herald, when she ran out onto her balcony.

Outside her unit, Rodriguez saw a “concrete column had pierced the hallway from floor to ceiling.”

“I looked at the elevators. The elevator shafts were exposed, the doors were gone,” Rodriguez wrote in the lawsuit, according to the Herald. 

The news outlet reports that Rodriguez’s lawsuit argues that the condo association neglected the building’s maintenance needs. 

Since the days of the collapse, revealed documents and emails have put into question the infrastructural integrity of the building.

The condo in 2018, for example, showed signs of “major structural damage.” And a 2020 study found that the land around the building had shown signs of sinking decades ago.

The son of a woman who is now missing told CNN she heard creaking noises the day before the collapse. Pablo Rodriguez said his mom called him the day before and said “she had woken up around 3 [or] 4 in the morning and had heard like some creaking noises. They were loud enough to wake her.”

Officials so far identified at least 12 people dead after the collapse. Another 149 people still remain unaccounted for. 

 

This story is developing. Please check back for updates. 

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