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A Sunny Isles condo association sues for $30 million for defects

The Regalia condo association has filed a lawsuit against the architectural firm, developer, general contractor and at least 22 other subcontractors for their poor design and construction of a luxury high-rise in Sunny Isles Beach. They contend that at least $30 million in repairs is needed to fix the 47-story, 39-unit building's design flaws and safety concerns.

A lawsuit was filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court on Nov. 6. In the filing, the association accuses the defendants of at least 70 counts of negligence. Many of the flaws were uncovered by an engineering firm hired by the condo's board between Nov. 1, 2016 and June 4, 2018. It's standard practice for one to be hired to inspect a building after it transitions from a developer to an association.

Some flaws that the engineering firm uncovered are related to the building's unique twisted design and glass paneling. One of those windows recently fell 38 stories to the pool deck. Some were installed with a 1-inch gap around them, something that causes them to make a whistling sound and causes them to be unable to withstand strong winds.

They also found that the aluminum paneling around sliding-glass doors aren't aligned properly with the glass. This has caused both wind and water damage to units during heavy rainfalls.

Another concern that they uncovered is how the parking garage's ceiling sits too low in some parts. It also can't support the weight of sports utility vehicles (SUVs) in some areas.

Screws used to hold the railings for the balconies in place are also either missing or the wrong size. Electric grills that were installed on the balconies were found to be only safe for indoor use as well.

The lawsuit chronicles how the condo owners have been told about the safety concerns and that they've all been remedied on a temporary basis. They note that the issues are expected to cost $30 million to permanently fix them though.

While it's commonplace for construction contracts to include a clause requiring parties to try to work out their differences in arbitration before filing suit, things don't always go as planned in these sessions. If you do end up having to sue, then you'll benefit from having a Melbourne construction litigation attorney who holds Florida Bar's Board of Legal Specialization certification in real estate law working on your behalf.

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