Businesses impacted by Fort Lauderdale water main break contemplating lawsuit against FPL

The water main break that caused a big mess for businesses in several parts of Broward County last year continues to spill over.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The water main break that caused a big mess for businesses in several parts of Broward County last year continues to spill over. 

All the businesses that were effected are looking to expand the lawsuit against Florida Power and Light. 

Local 10 covered this for weeks and weeks as so many businesses and residents were affected by a massive water main break in July of 2019.

Almost a year later, there could be a class action lawsuit against FPL.

“This happens to be one of the worst man-made disasters in South Florida, and it was an accident that didn’t have to happen,” said attorney Adam Moskowitz. 

It happened on executive airport proterty, when a FPL subcontractor put a six inch hole in a 42-inch water main. 

Businesses, hotels, restaurants and even the Galleria Mall, all 120 stores, were forced to close, in some cases for days, because there was no water.

Moskowtiz is representing the Riverside Hotel on Las Olas and is now asking the courts to expand the lawsuit against FPL to a class action, so all businesses affected by this water main break can join in.

"We want FPL to take responsibility for the damage and reckless acts that they and their subcontractors took," Moskowitz said. "Instead of doing the job, they hired another contractor to save money, who hired another contractor to save money, who even hired another contractor to save money, and they went out and did the job without doing any preparation."

 He says FPL can't just blame their subcontractors, who apparently had it all wrong.

“When they told the city where they would be digging, they wrote the wrong location. They told the city there would be no boring, not underground, which was not true,” Moskowitz said. “When they went to the location, they didn’t even know that there was a pipe underground.”

The motion, which can be viewed by clicking here, says FPL’s subcontractors used unlicensed workers to perform drilling.

It's a regulated industry, and as such, rarely do we ever see FPL face the music in court.

"I can tell the people on this day, FPL will see the inside of a courtroom," Moskowitz said. 

"Hopefully and the people will have their day in court."

The hearing on the motion to make this a class action suit against FPL is set for September. 

The City of Fort Lauderdale won’t comment on their investigation, refraining from commenting based upon its ongoing discussions with FPL to resolve the matter.

Local 10 reached out to FPL for a comment on the lawsuit, and spokesperson Matt Eissey responded with the following:

“I received your inquiry. The company does not have anything to offer.”

About the Author:

Jeff Weinsier joined Local 10 News in September 1994. He is currently an investigative reporter for Local 10. He is also responsible for the very popular Dirty Dining segments.