Condo defect lawsuits may pit residents against each other

On Behalf of | Jan 17, 2022 | Real Estate Law

The Champlain Towers South collapse is one of the most high-profile condo defect cases in recent years. This complicated case, which involves 98 deaths and millions of dollars in damages, highlights issues that may pit residents against each other.

What are some of the issues residents face with large condominium defect cases?

Dividing limited resources

Tensions have risen between homeless former residents of the Champlain Towers South collapse seeking compensation for their property damage and the families of those who died. Some residents view the wrongful death suits by these family members as an attempt to rob surviving former residents of compensation for their losses.

Unfortunately, there is only so much money to go around. The judge must calculate the value of lives lost versus the value of property destroyed and attempt to reach an equitable distribution of a pool of funds that will not be large enough to pay the full value of every claim.

Distribution plan

The judge handling the case has attempted to assist former residents with economic loss claims by providing quick distributions of money to help with finding new housing. Claimants who accept these distributions exit the class-action lawsuit. This would free up the judge to focus on the wrongful death claims. However, disagreements between the property owners, renters and families of those who died over how the court should divide the money have foiled his plan.

Property owners have differing views when it comes to dividing the money. Some believe the majority of the settlements should go to the families of those who died. Others believe that since property owners did not cause those deaths, the available funds should all go to them.