Surfside: Lawsuit alleges that new construction next door contributed to collapse

A class-action lawsuit is pointing the finger at Eighty Seven Park's developer saying that there was negligence in the construction of the new condo and it led to the collapse at Surfside.

SURFSIDE, Fla. – A class action lawsuit has been filed over the deadly collapse at Surfside. The lawsuit alleges that new construction next door damaged Champlain Towers South and contributed to the tragedy that killed nearly 100 people.

The complaint was filed on behalf of the living and deceased victims in Surfside. For the first time, it points the finger not only at entities directly connected to the Champlain Towers South, but alleges that the developer behind Eighty Seven Park Miami, an 18-story condo next door at 8701 Collins Avenue, bears some responsibility.

The lawsuit alleges that developers ignored warnings from Chaplain Towers South residents who wrote letters about feeling vibrations and other problems while Eighty Seven Park Miami was under construction. It says that the developer acted negligently during the construction of the building.

According to the filing, “CTS was an older building in need of routine repairs and maintenance, but it was not until excavation and construction began on Eighty Seven Park that CTS became so badly damaged and destabilized as to be unsafe.”

Local 10 News reached out to the developer who denies the allegations. The attorney for the developer, David B. Weinstein, counsel for 8701 Collins Development, LLC, released a statement that said, in part:

“As numerous media reports have documented, Champlain Towers South was improperly designed, poorly constructed, significantly underfunded, and inadequately maintained and repaired. We expect that a full review of the facts—and the ongoing investigation by NIST—will affirm our position.’’

About the Authors:

Liane Morejon is an Emmy-winning reporter who joined the Local 10 News family in January 2010. Born and raised in Coral Gables, Liane has a unique perspective on covering news in her own backyard.