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Surfside Condo Collapse Resources & Legal Guidance
Surfside Condo Collapse Information & Resources
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Surfside Condo Collapse Resources & Legal Guidance
The collapse of the Champlain South Tower condos has been a horrific tragedy. The entire team at The Ferraro Law Firm sends its best wishes and prayers to all of those who have been affected by this disaster.
Below, we have gathered a list of informational resources about events leading up to the collapse, ways to give back, the latest news on rescue efforts, and more.
Champlain Condo Collapse Statistics
40 years: The age of the building
55 units affected
$16.2 million: Estimated costs of repairs needed to fix structural damage
35 survivors rescued from the building collapse
2 unaccounted for as of July 19
300 emergency personnel helping with search and rescue
18 million pounds of rubble removed as of July 13
How to Help the Surfside Community
The Ferraro Law Firm recently made a $25,000 donation to the Global Empowerment Mission (GEM) to assist those affected by the Champlain South Tower collapse.
If you would like to donate money or items to help GEM’s Surfside relief efforts, please visit the following:
- Donate to the Champlain Tower residents
- Donate to GEM’s Surfside program
- Donate items to Champlain Tower residents
Other Ways to Give Back to Surfside
There are multiple organizations that are providing first responders, victims, and their families with food, supplies, and support during this difficult time. These nonprofits include:
- Support Surfside Fund
- Greater Miami Jewish Federation
- World Central Kitchen
- South Florida Red Cross
- Mercy Chefs
- Salvation Army
If you would like to help by volunteering, the United Way of Miami-Dade is accepting volunteers for service projects throughout the community.
Latest News: Information About Rescue Efforts, Investigations, and More
- The Surfside Community Mourns Those Lost in the Collapse as Search Crews Near the Bottom of the Debris
- Pool Deck, Garage Ceilings of Collapsed Surfside Building Were Problematic As Early as 1996, Documents Show
- Surfside Inspectors Visited Champlain Towers South Dozens of Times. Now Its Collapse is Spurring Calls for Reform
- Surfside Mayor Says Security Will Be Tightened at the Condo Collapse Location, Which He Says is a ‘Holy Site’
- Surfside Officials: We Weren’t Notified of Severe Deterioration Before Condo Collapse
- Search and Rescue Efforts Halted Due to Safety Concerns
- Federal Investigation of Surfside Begins. Mayor says Miami-Dade won’t wait on reforms
- Video Shows Fallen Debris and Gushing Water in the Surfside Condo Garage Moments Before Collapse
- Prosecutors Will Ask Grand Jury to Probe Surfside Building Collapse
- Letter Sent Months Before Deadly Florida Collapse Warned Damage to Condo Building Was Accelerating
- Two Days Before Condo Collapse, a Pool Contractor Photographed this Damage in the Garage
- Surfside Official Was Sent Disturbing Report. He Told Board Condo Was ‘In Good Shape’
Additional Surfside Building Collapse Resources
- Your Legal Rights After a Building Collapse
- What Causes Buildings to Collapse?
- Who May Be Held Liable for a Building Collapse Accident?
Champlain Towers Condo Collapse: Timeline of Events
1981: Construction on the Champlain Towers finishes. The buildings were among the first to be built after a moratorium on new construction in Miami-Dade county ended.
Oct-Nov 2018: A structural field study found that the building was suffering from “major structural damage” caused by waterproofing failures below the pool deck and entrance drive. A Surfside building official, Rosendo Prieto, tells residents that they should not worry about the findings from the October report. He says that after reviewing the structural engineer’s report, that it appeared the “building is in very good shape.”
April 2020: A study published in the Ocean and Coastal Management Journal by Florida International University professor Shimon Wdowinski found that the area of land underneath the Champlain South Tower had been gradually sinking since the 1990s.
April 9, 2021: The president of the Champlain condo association Jean Wodnicki sends a letter to residents noting that the building’s structural damage had gotten “significantly worse” and that the concrete deterioration was “accelerating.” Estimated costs for repairs to fix the waterproofing and pool deck area had increased to $16.2 million. Residents would be expected to cover $15.5 million of the repair costs starting July 1.
June 22, 2021: Two days before the collapse, a contractor takes pictures of the building’s water damage as part of his company’s bid for restoration work on the pool. The pictures showed exposed and corroded rebar under the pool, cracks in the concrete, and standing water in the parking garage and pool equipment room.
June 24, 2021: 1:20 a.m. The Champlain South Tower building partially collapses, destroying 55 units.
1:23 a.m. The Miami-Dade fire rescue responds to multiple emergency calls. First responders begin to rescue trapped survivors from balconies using cherry pickers.
8 a.m. Officials report that all of the 35 survivors had been rescued from inside the building. Also in the morning, a reunification hotline and center (the Surfside Community Center) is established.
June 25, 2021: President Biden declares a state of emergency in Florida. FEMA is deployed to aid in the search and rescue efforts.
June 26, 2021: Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava orders an emergency audit of buildings that are four stories or higher and 40 years or older.
June 28, 2021: Rosendo Prieto, the building official that told Champlain residents the building was safe in 2018, is placed on leave.
June 30, 2021: The National Institute of Standards and Technology announces they will investigate the cause of the collapse. It is only the fifth investigation the group has conducted in the last 20 years. Past investigations include the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11. Their findings will be used to help determine what changes need to be made to laws and building codes to prevent a similar collapse in the future.
July 1, 2021: President Biden visits Surfside to meet with first responders and families who have lost or are missing loved ones.
July 4, 2021: The remaining sections of the Champlain South Tower is demolished over concerns of an additional collapse.
Champlain Towers Building Collapse FAQs
How can I help those affected by the Champlain Towers building collapse?
Currently, the best way to help victims and their families is by donating money. Organizations like the Support Surfside Fund, South Florida Red Cross, World Central Kitchen, and the Global Empowerment Mission are all providing food, supplies, and assistance to victims of the collapse, their families, and first responders. If you would like to donate your time, the United Way of Miami-Dade is accepting volunteers.
Where can I donate items to help those affected by the Surfside condo collapse?
The Global Empowerment Mission is accepting donated items for displaced Champlain Tower residents. The Surfside reunification center has been overwhelmed by the generosity of members of the community and is no longer accepting donations.
I am missing a friend or family member who lived in the Champlain South Tower. What should I do?
You should report a missing friend or family member by calling the official reunification hotline or by visiting the reunification center that has been established through Miami-Dade County. The hotline number is 305-614-1819. The Surfside Community Center is helping to reunite loved ones at 9301 Collins Avenue.
Where is the reunification center for Champlain Tower victims?
The Champlain Tower reunification center is located at the Surfside Community Center: 9301 Collins Avenue.
Is the Surfside condo collapse being investigated?
Yes. The National Institute of Standards and Technology–the same group that investigated the collapse of the Twin Towers after 9/11–is investigating the collapse. The results of their investigation will be used to determine what changes need to be made in building codes, regulations, and laws to prevent a similar collapse from happening in the future.
How did the Surfside condos collapse?
While the cause of the collapse is still unknown, reports as early as 2018 found the building was suffering from “major structural damage.” In the parking garage and underneath the pool deck there were cracks in the concrete, exposed and corroded rebar, and signs of water damage.
What are my legal rights if I was injured in the Surfside condo collapse?
If you were injured in the Surfside condo collapse, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the negligent parties who contributed to the structural failure. A lawsuit may help you recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
What are my legal rights if I lost a loved one in the Surfside condo collapse?
While nothing can ever replace a loved one who died tragically in the Surfside condo collapse, you may be able to hold those parties who were responsible for the collapse financially accountable for your losses. By filing a wrongful death lawsuit, families may be able to recover compensation for loss of support, funeral and burial expenses, and more.