“I want you to move forward with whatever needs to be done to monetize this property so we can get money into these people’s hands,” said Judge Hanzman.
Brad Sohn, an attorney who represents at least one survivor of the collapse, said condo companies should have far greater coverage for something as devastating as a collapse.
“When catastrophic events happen in Florida, stricter laws must apply, forcing people to be financially responsible, to have bigger insurance policies so people don’t hang out to dryers,” said Sohn.
Susana Alvarez, 62, who escaped the collapse of the building and lives in a rental apartment for the time being, said she was concerned that she was going to pay for the $ 150,000 renovation work she was investing in her apartment, including a new kitchen, floors and windows, not being compensated.
“It’s not about what I paid to own the apartment,” she said. “It’s about what it’s worth now.”
Mr. Rosenthal has a similar concern. When he first bought his 1,560 square foot unit in 2001 in hopes of spending the rest of his life there, he paid $ 250,000 for it; The unit was revalued two years ago and was worth $ 650,000.
He would like to at least be able to pay off his mortgage and has therefore joined one of several lawsuits against the homeowners association of the building. The survivors, he said, will look well beyond the building’s limited insurance policy and “sue anyone and everyone involved”.
Rick Rojas, Mike Baker and Sophie Kasakove contributed the reporting.