The Champlain Towers Collapse
By now everyone has heard the tragic story of the condominium towers that suddenly collapsed overnight. Almost 100 people lost their lives and countless others were seriously injured for life.
Lawsuits are already piling in from the incident naming the owners of Champlain Towers who are responsible for ensuring the building is in good condition, and an inspection company that passed the building even after there were visible signs of spalling in the concrete.
As of now, the cause of the collapse is believed to be the concrete. Essentially, the concrete became porous allowing moisture and water to rust out the support beams. The support beams began to bow, causing more cracks in the concrete. Eventually, the concrete failed, causing the apartments to pancake.
Elements of negligence
While landlords aren’t automatically liable for any injuries that occur on their premises, building collapses are an exception. Buildings just don’t collapse in America. We have a regulatory framework that requires periodic inspections to catch problems before they occur. The spalling of the concrete was noted in some reports. However, the extent of the damage was never fully understood and there was certainly no one who foresaw an imminent collapse on the horizon. But because the building fell, the condominium association is partly responsible.
Also responsible may be a company that inspected the premises in 2018 and passed the building. The building, obviously, shouldn’t have been passed, so the fact that it was indicates that there was some negligence.
Clearly, the issue was that no one took the warning signs seriously. Leaky garages and ceilings, along with actual visible cracks in the cement should have caused more alarm than it did. At the time of the collapse, workers were fixing the roof indicating that some of the repairs had begun.
One last element, had the condominium association required all residents to vacate the premises, they likely would have faced lawsuits related to the inconvenience and cost of relocation. Now, however, they will likely face as many as 140 – 160 wrongful death lawsuits. If there’s evidence that anyone knew that a collapse was possible, and no one did anything after that knowledge became available, you may also end up with criminal charges and gross negligence accusations.
Talk to a Tampa Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you’ve been injured due to the negligence of another party, call the Tampa personal injury attorneys at The Matassini Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation and discuss the matter in more detail. We can help you recover damages related to your medical expenses, lost wages, and reduced quality of life. Call today!