John Berman announced CNN obtained a letter showing that residents of the Champlain Tower South complex were warned as recently as April of this year that their building was in dire need of repairs.
"The board president wrote, quote, 'the observable damage such as in the garage has gotten significantly worse since the initial inspection from 2018. The concrete deterioration is accelerating. The roof situation got much worse so extensive roof repairs had to be incorporated. One resident who has been forced out of her home is joining a class action lawsuit against the Champlain Tower South condominium association, claiming her complaints about red flags and prior damage were ignored.
He introduced Adam Moskowitz, the attorney who has filed a class action suit.
"Can I get a reaction from your letter, which we're seeing from the condo board president, saying the damage was accelerating?" Berman said.
"It's just terrible, John, I mean, our client, Resa Rodriguez, has been raising these red flags for months. She has been taking pictures of her garage. She has been taking pictures of cement falling, water dripping on her car, and it seems like all of this fell on deaf ears. Nobody seemed to take any of this seriously, unfortunately," Moskowitz said.
"We have a letter from the condo board president taking it seriously, albeit perhaps too late, and you have that report from 2018 which took it seriously. Do you have evidence that they ignored the pleas from your client?" Berman said.
"Well, she made continuous pleas and she showed certain photographs as we have included in our class action complaint, and different members of the community that were supposed to be inspecting the building came by the building and this is evidence that will come out in the class action, and assured the residents that the building was safe. Recently, not just back in 2018, the inspectors said, 'Your building is safe and strong, do not worry.'"
"They knew things needed to be fixed. The question is, did they know or did they think it needed to be fixed now? Immediately? Do you have any evidence or are you making any claims one way or another?" Berman asked.
"Not really, John, at this stage because we haven't named the other defendants in the lawsuit but the reason that we filed the class action lawsuit is that we could now start the investigation in the judicial branch as well as all the other state and federal investigations, because we need to preserve the evidence and that's what the court can do, order that all the parties maintain and preserve all the evidence, and secondly we could preserve all the insurance proceeds that are available so that it's not all-out chaos with the lawsuits being filed," Moskowitz said.