The Real Deal Miami

900 Biscayne’s contractor wins $23M for faulty construction

Suit: reinforcing steel was either omitted or improperly installed throughout 63-story building

November 02, 2015 03:00PM
By Ina Cordle

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900 Biscayne Bay Condominium

A federal judge in Miami has awarded $23 million to the contractor of 900 Biscayne Bay Condominium, in a case related to two subcontractors’ alleged faulty construction.

U.S. District Judge James Lawrence King ruled that American Ace Insurance Company must pay the judgment to Pavarini Construction Co., the general contractor in the 63-story, 516-unit luxury tower.

Hialeah-based Pavarini Construction and insurance firm Steadfast Insurance Co, had filed suit against insurer Ace American Insurance Co., in the case that began at least five years ago when the project’s owner served the construction company with a formal demand to repair damage to the building. Pavarini, which completed construction in 2005, was represented by law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman.

Basketball star Kevin Durant, who plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder, had owned a penthouse there until selling it for $3.15 million in May.

According to court documents, Pavarini had hired Alan W. Smith for the installation of concrete masonry unit walls and concrete reinforcing steel, and subcontractor TCOE Corp. for the supply and installation of reinforcing steel within the cast-in-place concrete columns, beams and shear walls of the tower.

“The work performed by both subcontractors was so seriously deficient,” the suit said. “A significant amount of reinforcing steel was either omitted entirely or improperly installed throughout the building, including placement within its critical concrete structural elements, causing destabilization.”

According to the suit, the building’s compromised structural support system resulted in excessive movement of the building’s components. “This, in turn, caused stucco debonding and cracking on the walls of the building, worsening cracking of cast-in-place concrete elements (columns, beams and shear walls), and cracking in the mechanical penthouse enclosure on the roof, which led to water intrusion.

The costs to remediate all the damage amounted to $25,121,475. After recovering $2 million from an American Home policy and related salvage efforts, Pavertini sought $23,116,798 in damages.

In his 17-page order, Judge King granted partial summary judgment in favor of Pavarini, related to the $23 million judgment, plus costs, interest and attorneys fees. The judge denied Pavarini’s request for consequential damages.