Firm Secures $9 Million Settlement in Condominium Construction Defect Lawsuit

Joseph A. Miles
December 6, 2010

Construction defect lawsuits against developers and their contractors can become very complicated and prolonged, and our recent $9 million settlement on behalf of the condominium association for the Continuum on South Beach illustrates the complex nature of this litigation for attorneys who focus on construction law.

The Continuum settlement came after more than six years of litigation, and the case had grown so large and complex that if first caught the attention of the editors of the Daily Business Review when they covered it in lengthy report entitled “South Florida Cases Show How Defect Lawsuits Multiply” in April of 2009.

The case took another 18 months to reach its conclusion, and when it did the Daily Business Review decided to share the details with its readers in a report on Tuesday, Nov. 30, which read:

A messy, 6-year-old battle over construction defects at a Miami Beach condo tower is drawing to a pricey conclusion.

The insurer for the developer and contractors of the Continuum on South Beach and the condo association of the 314-unit South Tower have reached a $9 million settlement. The deal is to be submitted to Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Gill Freeman by Wednesday. Once she signs off on the settlement, the costly repairs can begin, ending the dispute that dates to 2004.

The Continuum on South Beach and the South Tower Condominium Association sued developer South Beach Ocean Parcel, managed by Ian Bruce Eichner; the architecture firm Fullerton Diaz Architects; and several subcontractors.

The suit claimed design and construction defects led to leaky windows that damaged stucco, drywall and flooring in portions of the 40-story tower. The condo association also accused Eichner and the developer of misrepresenting the project’s amenities, a violation of the state Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.

The trial was scheduled to begin on Nov. 8, but a tentative settlement in September put that on hold.

This settlement could not have been achieved without the focused efforts of my partner, Steven M. Siegfried, Esq., our dedicated staff and the contributions of our co-counsel, David B. Haber.

Because these types of cases become very complex and time consuming as developers file their own subsequent lawsuits against subcontractors, it is imperative to work exclusively with lawyers who focus on construction defect lawsuits. We have represented hundreds of property owners and community associations in construction defect claims since our inception in 1977, and our experience and capabilities enables us to achieve favorable outcomes.