Surfside Condo Collapse Took Nearly 100 Lives

Posted on behalf of RizkLaw on Aug 04, 2021 in Personal Injury

On June 24, 2021, the Champlain Towers South condominium building collapsed at around 1:19 a.m. The center of the 12-story building fell first, and less than six seconds later, the eastern side of the building collapsed. The horrifying event caused 98 fatalities and left many facing severe injuries and emotional terror. 

The survivors and family members of those injured and killed are looking for closure and to hold those responsible for this tragic accident accountable for their negligence. The collapse of the condominium in Surfside, Florida, was avoidable, making those affected furious and distraught for their loved ones. Many factors played major roles in the fall of the building, but the carelessness of those in charge of keeping the building adequately cared for is undeniable. 

Leading Up to the Florida Condo Collapse: What Went Wrong?

The cause of the collapse is unknown, and due to the massive amount of damage and rubble that authorities are searching through, the cause will need careful investigation and take a significant amount of time. However, the history behind the high-rise condo suggests several potential faults. 


In 1981, Breiterman Jurado & Associates developed the structural engineering and makeup of the condo. It was not until October of 2018 that a structural engineering report from Frank P. Morabito accounted for various problems with the condo. From significant structural damage to the issues with the concrete slab below the pool deck, these damages were noted to need extensive repairs in the immediate and near future.

Reassurance and Concern 

Unfortunately, Surfside’s Chief Building Official Ross Prieto assured residents that the condo was in perfect condition, and several association members resigned in 2019 due to their frustration with delayed repairs. The frustrations continued, and in January 2020, a board member emailed Ross Prieto due to the many concerns from residents about the structural integrity. He ignored and dismissed the issue. 

The Collapse

Jean Wodnick, the President of the Champlain Towers South Condominium Association, sent a letter to residents in April 2021 that explained how the condo’s condition has worsened since Morabito’s 2018 inspection. While they planned for $15 million in structural repairs, it was too late, and the collapse happened less than three months after.  

The appalling condition and lack of concern by specific individuals left many stunned at the negligence. Many speculate that if repairs were taken seriously, the collapse might have been avoided. Either way, the people killed and injured during this horrible accident deserve to have justice for the pain inflicted. 

Who Is Liable When a Building Collapses? 

When a building collapses, many contributing factors lead to the fall. It’s crucial to prove that the individual or organization participated in negligent action. Three ways to establish these elements are through evidence of failure to complete their duty of care and that the lack of care caused the injury. 

Some individuals who are more than likely to have a role in the negligent actions are: 

  • Property owner
  • Construction company
  • Engineers
  • Manufacturers
  • Town or city

The above individuals have a responsibility to the residents and inhabitants of the building to make sure that the manufacturing and maintenance of the community are up to par. When a building collapses, there is usually negligence involved. 

Am I Able to File a Lawsuit on Behalf of Family Members?

Yes, you are allowed to file a lawsuit on behalf of a family member. If a member of your family was injured in a collapse of a building or the collapse of the Florida condo, you can seek compensation for the suffering and damages you’ve incurred. The following are some of the types of compensation you can recover: 

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of irreplaceable items
  • Decreased quality of life
  • Loss of consortium/companionship
  • Wrongful death 
  • Punitive damages
  • Emotional trauma and harm

The pain you and your family have endured is unimaginable. While seeking compensation can’t heal the loss, it can make sure that these incidents don’t happen again. Taking legal action against those who chose negligent actions is critical for allowing those affected by the accident to hold the people responsible for their actions. 

Trust Rizk Law Lawyers with Your Personal Injury Claim

Our condolences go out to the families that lost someone in the Florida collapse. Our Rizk Law lawyers understand how grievous and infuriating it is to lose a loved one in an accident such as this one. The legal process of filing a claim against those responsible for the accident can feel overwhelming with the complicated obligations on your shoulders. Our team of motivated lawyers has years of experience advocating for the rights of our clients. We actively work to assist you with all your legal needs and will stay by your side every step of the way. 

Call (503) 245-5677 or fill out our contact form for a free consultation.