SURFSIDE, Fla. (NewsNation Now) — A class action lawsuit filed Friday argues that the condo association responsible for maintaining the building that collapsed overnight on Thursday “could have prevented” the tragic incident.
In the suit, it details how certain “‘repair needs have been identified’ with regard to certain structural issues but have not been implemented; one of the most breathtakingly frightening tragedies in the history of South Florida followed.”
As of Friday night, 159 people remain unaccounted for in the collapse. 4 people have been confirmed to have died and 102 accounted for.
“In the early hours of Thursday morning, an unspeakable horror rocked the close-knit community of Surfside, Florida. Shortly thereafter, Sohn Law was engaged by the Drezner family. As a lawyer, I can’t fix what is irreparable. But what I can do is fight to immediately fully compensate these victims so that they can focus all of their energy on healing as best they can,” said Brad Sohn, the lawyer who filed the suit on behalf of the victims in the condo collapse, in a statement to NewsNationNow.com.
The suit accuses the condo association of “failing to take available steps to prevent the collapse” as well as “failing to monitor the building and activities that led to the collapse of the building.”
But Kenneth Direktor, a lawyer representing the condo association, told NewsNation Prime it’s too early to speculate what happened.
Officials have not confirmed what specifically lead to the building’s collapse yet. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis stated that engineers would investigate a potential cause once the search for survivors concludes.
“We want to know what caused this,” he said. “Everyone involved is hiring their own engineer to get to the bottom of this – the city, the county, the insurance companies, the association themselves, everyone wants answers. Those answers will come from engineers, and it is almost unfair to speculate as to causes and try to point fingers while we are still searching for people in the rubble.”
Plaintiffs are seeking $5 million in damages.
While the lawsuit does not state specific damage reported to the association, residents have stated in the aftermath of the collapse that the building had issues with structural integrity in the parking garage and the pool deck.
“Our investigation continues, but we strongly believe this was preventable. A lawsuit is necessary to force all parties to preserve documents and records regarding this building and ensure a thorough investigation into this tragedy,” said Sohn.