Miami Dade College Sues Builders of Collapsed Garage

A construction worker and his wife have filed a lawsuit in a Florida State court against several defendants.

The District Board of Trustees of Miami Dade College filed suit in Florida state court against the companies it hired to build a $22 million parking garage on the schools’ Doral campus, which collapsed and killed four workers last year and injuring five others, including Juan Carlos Ferandez.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for his injuries, which include post-traumatic stress disorder. He was working on the second floor of the garage approximately five feet from the section that collapsed.

The suit names as defendants the general contractor Ajax Building Corp.; M.A.R. Contracting Inc., MEP Structural Engineering and Inspections Inc.; engineering firm Bliss & Nvitray Inc., architectural firm Harvard Jolly Inc., and Sims Crane & Equipment Co. Also sued were subcontractors Coreslab Structures Miami Inc. and Solar Erectors U.S. Inc., which were both hired to erect the precast concrete slabs and concrete building components of the structure.

According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there were several violations, including columns not being properly braced or inspected.

The families of the four workers killed and five of the injured workers reached a confidential settlement in early May in their lawsuits against Ajax and several other defendants, including Coreslab, Solar Erectors and MEP. In those cases, the plaintiffs claimed that the cause of the collapse was Ajax’s decision to use a cheaper precast concrete construction method.

The college claims breach of contract and negligence, among several other counts, stating that in addition to being responsible for the accident due to improper building practices, the defendants, led by Ajax Building Corp., have also abandoned the project and made no attempt to repair or finish the garage.

They also contended that Ajax’s inspectors should not have let workers back into the garage after a crane accident two days before the collapse compromised the structure.

For more information on this case you can contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).

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