After the incredibly violent and unanticipated collapse of the Champlain Towers South Condo, hundreds of residents and their loved ones are still taking it all in. Unfortunately, the tragedy is all too real and will have a lasting impact on thousands of South Florida residents.
Champlain Towers South is a 12-story oceanfront condominium in the beautiful Surfside community. The collapse incident at the property happened in the early morning hours of June 24, 2021, just after 1 a.m.
While rescue efforts were underway immediately, responders had their work cut out for them. Navigating the scene of any construction accident is challenging. But working through a partially collapsed high-rise is especially difficult.
At the 24-hour mark, hundreds of people were still unaccounted for. Rescue crews have located several dozen people, many of whom were seriously injured. Officials had only confirmed one dead at that point. Still, the outlook was incredibly bleak.
In total, the collapsed segment of the tower contained 55 units. The remaining areas of the 136 unit tower remained intact.
An Infamous Tragedy – Liability Still Unclear
When rescue crews account for everyone, the Champlain Towers incident could end up being one of the deadliest building collapses in U.S. history.
Modern construction practices have made building collapses a rarity in the United States. Most of the collapses with significant numbers of fatalities occurred in the 1980s or earlier.
More recent building collapses are often the result of improper building practices. According to the NY Daily News, one such incident occurred on June 5, 2013. It involved the demolition of a four-story Philadelphia structure.
During the demolition, the building collapsed onto an adjacent Salvation Army store. The tragedy resulted in six deaths and injured 14 others.
A second incident occurred on Oct. 12, 2019, at The Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans. While under construction, part of the building collapsed. Three workers were killed, and dozens more suffered severe injuries.
Surviving members claimed that project managers were using unsafe building practices. Construction crews demolished the site the following year. It was never opened to the public before its demolition.
Unfortunately, it will likely take months or even years to find out why the Champlain Tower collapsed. Officials will investigate to determine whether negligence played a role in the tragedy. If so, the responsible parties will be held accountable under Florida’s negligence statutes.
Between statutory protections and other resources, victims and their loved ones will be able to take action. Hopefully, this will help to prevent another tragedy like the Champlain Tower collapse.
The Lasting Impact – Options For Victims and Families
Accounting for all of the occupants of the Champlain Tower is only half the battle. Survivors will likely be dealing with the effects of this incident for years to come.
Reports are still coming in on the injuries suffered by survivors. These injuries will likely range from minor to life-threatening. For instance, residents that were covered in debris or fell from a higher condo are likely to have suffered more severe injuries.
While this event is unlike any other, construction site injuries are all too common in the United States. Broken bones, brain stem injuries, and severe lacerations are likely to be among the kinds of physical wounds suffered by victims.
When it comes time to seek justice, many of these victims and their loved ones will likely turn to personal injury attorneys for help. Most personal injury attorneys bill on a contingency basis. This means that they do not charge clients unless they recover compensation on their behalf.
An attorney can help victims of the Champlain Tower tragedy to seek compensation to pay for medical care, personal care, and emotional trauma. In the worst cases, an attorney can help surviving family members with a wrongful death claim.
While no amount of money can undo the pain and suffering caused by the collapse, it may be able to help victims receive the care they need.