Details continue to emerge about the catastrophic building collapse that occurred last Thursday at Champlain Towers South, a luxury condo development near Miami.

A second known lawsuit was filed over the weekend by one of the survivors of the collapse against the Champlain Towers South Condominium Association. The lawsuit filed by attorney Bob McKee on behalf of resident Steve Rosenthal seeks unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial, Local10 reported.

“The tragedy of Champlain Towers South should not be allowed to be repeated,” McKee told Local10. “It is not a solitary freak event. The conditions relating to its collapse exist in many of our hi-rise concrete buildings. Change to effectuate more frequent inspection, with teeth in compelling immediate complete and timely repair must be effectuated.”

As of Tuesday morning, the death toll in the wake of the disaster had risen to 11.

Warnings made in April of significant damage

Back in April, the Champlain South Towers Condo Association president, Jean Wodnick, sent out a letter to residents notifying them that damage to the building identified in a 2018 engineer’s report had “gotten significantly worse” in the intervening years.

Wodnicki urged residents to pay a $15 million special assessment in order to help fund extensive construction projects to address identified issues.

The full letter to residents has been published in The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

In the letter, Wodnicki warned residents that the building’s concrete damage would “multiply exponentially over the years, and indeed the observable damage such as in the garage has gotten significantly worse over the years.”

“It is impossible to know the extent of the damage to the underlying rebar until the concrete is opened up,” the letter added. “Oftentimes the damage is more extensive than can be determined by inspection of the surface.”

Photos of damaged building garage emerge

Meanwhile, the Miami Herald also recently received disturbing photos of the building’s basement-level garage from a commercial pool contractor who visited the building just two days before the collapse, in order to put together a bid for restorations to be done to the pool.

“There was standing water all over the parking garage,” the anonymous pool contractor told the Herald.

Upon inspection, the contractor saw cracking concrete, exposed and severely corroded rebar, and pools of standing water in the garage and pool equipment room.

“If the condition of the beam in the pool guy’s photo is something that was also happening under the building, that is a really major concern,” Mohammad Ehsani, an engineer and concrete restoration expert who reviewed the Herald’s photos said. Ehsani added that such damage could have “absolutely” been a contributing factor to the building’s partial collapse.

President Biden to visit

On Tuesday, the White House confirmed that President Biden and first lady Jill Biden will make a trip to Surfside on Thursday to visit the site of the building’s collapse.

“The visit is being closely coordinated with officials on the ground to ensure it does not draw away critical local resources from the ongoing search and rescue operations or have any negative operational impact,” a White House official told the Herald.

Over the weekend, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell was dispatched to the site by the White House. Several other teams have also been sent in by the federal government to aid in disaster response, including an incident management assistance team, structural engineers, building science experts, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and two FEMA-supported search and rescue teams.

Email Lillian Dickerson

architecture
Show Comments Hide Comments

Comments

Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Success!
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription