SURFSIDE, Fla. (CBS12) — A class-action lawsuit was filed against the Champlain Towers South Condominium Association in Surfside, where one of the buildings partially collapsed early Thursday morning.
It was filed late Thursday night, not even 24 hours after the after the collapse, which claimed the lives of at least four people. Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said in a press conference Friday morning that 159 people are unaccounted for and 120 people have been accounted for.
The lawsuit, which was filed on behalf of resident Manuel Drezner by the Brad Sohn Law Firm, is seeking $5 million in damages "due to Defendant's acts and omissions and their failure to properly protect the lives and property of Plaintiff and Class members."
The lawsuit claims the collapse occurred because the condo association's "acts and omissions failed to properly protect the lives and property" of those who live there.
"According to public statements made by Defendant’s attorney Ken Direktor, 'repair needs had been identified' with regard to certain structural issues but had not been implemented; one of the most breathtakingly frightening tragedies in the history of South Florida followed," the lawsuit said.
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The lawsuit then continues to say the condo association "disregarded the rights of Plaintiff and Class members by intentionally, willfully, recklessly, or negligently doing the following: failing to take adequate and reasonable measures to ensure the safety and protection of its residents and their property, failing to disclose to its residents and visitors that it did not have adequate safety measures in place to safeguard occupants of Champlain Towers South, failing to take available steps to prevent the catastrophic collapse of the building, and failing to monitor the building and activities that led to the collapse of the building, among other things."
The cause of the collapse is still under investigation.
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Built in 1981, the condo building was about to undergo its 40-year certification, and contractors had been doing work on the roof around the time of the collapse.