By Kevin M. Hirzel, Esq.
On June 24, 2021, the Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, Florida partially collapsed, resulting in the death of 98 residents. While investigators continue to search for the cause or causes of the Surfside condominium collapse, it is anticipated that it will be determined that there were multiple causes for the collapse that may relate to the initial construction of the condominium, maintenance of the condominium, the inability of the condominium association to fund repair projects, insufficient warnings from engineers, and misinformation received from the municipality. Condominium associations, condominium board members, condominium developers, municipalities, and vendors all play a role in ensuring that the common elements of a condominium are appropriately constructed and maintained. While the Surfside collapse is hopefully an outlier, and likely occurred due to a unique set of circumstances, it is still important to understand the potential liability associated with defective common elements in a condominium. Accordingly, this article will discuss the potential liability of developers, municipalities, condominium associations, condominium board members, and vendors that is associated with failing to properly construct and maintain the general common elements in a Michigan condominium.
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