Construction Defect Defense Verdict

Miami Partners George Truitt and Matan Scheier, and Miami Associate Amid Bennaim obtained a defense verdict in a Miami-Dade County construction defect suit.

The claim by the condominium association involved a 20- story, luxury condominium in North Bay Village completed as "designer ready" for nearly $50,000,000. The Association claimed nearly $7,000,000 in damages, prejudgment interest from 2014, costs, and attorney’s fees.

The Association sued for breach of implied warranty, negligence, and building code violations. It claimed defects in the structure, stucco, sliding glass doors, windows, balcony railings, deck waterproofing, and sound attenuation of the walls. With this being the first association defect jury trial since the Champlain Towers South collapse, Plaintiff focused particular attention on the life safety dangers of the defective structure, making several references to the risk of future collapse.

The general contractor client was the only direct defendant at trial. The defense argued the Association was motivated by money, had promised to pay its debt to experts with any recovery, did not meet its burden of persuasion, failed to perform routine maintenance, failed to mitigate its damages, and failed to prove its damages with reasonable certainty.

The court directed a partial verdict against the client on the building code violation claim, finding the evidence was undisputed the reinforcing steel placement violated the code. The jury found the client should have known of the violation, but it had not damaged property other than the subject of the plans, permits and inspections. The jury found no other code violation, no breach of warranty, and no negligence.

George Truitt
(305) 350-5331

Matan Scheier
(786) 268-6769

Amid Bennaim
786) 268-6889

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