The Real Deal Miami

Lauderdale-by-the-Sea condo sues Related, contractors over alleged shoddy construction

Suit alleges defective fire sprinkler system is causing extensive damage to 96-unit condo

May 26, 2016 11:15AM
By Francisco Alvarado

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Aquazul in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea

Aquazul in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea

For the third time in five months, another condo project developed by the Related Group is facing accusations of shoddy construction work likely to cost millions to repair.

Last week, the condo association for Aquazul, a 96-unit condo tower in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, filed a lawsuit against Related, the project’s general contractor Pavarinni, and 18 subcontractors over the installation of a fire sprinkler system that is allegedly leaking water and causing extensive damage to fixtures and personal property.

A spokesperson for Related declined comment because company representatives have not seen the lawsuit, which was filed on May 13 in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.

In the Aquazul lawsuit, the condo association alleges Tyco International, the company that installed the fire sprinkler system, knowingly connected steel pipes and PVC pipes that were incompatible. The complaint states that the steel pipes were coated with a material that caused pinhole leaks, cracks and blowouts if hooked up to the PVC pipes.

The condo association further alleges that Tyco executives conspired with their counterparts at Ohio-based Lubrizol Corp., the subcontractor that makes the PVC pipes, to mislead and failed to warn the construction industry about the incompatibility. Tyco general counsel Jennifer Ellis and Lubrizol spokesperson Julie Young did not respond to The Real Deal’s requests for comment.

The complaint also claims that after Tyco and Lubrizol disclosed there was a problem connecting the steel and PVC pipes together, Related and its building contractors installed the faulty system anyway. Related completed the building, at 1600 South Ocean Boulevard in Pompano Beach, in 2005.

The association is seeking to recover the cost to repair and replace the sprinkler system, and to reimburse unit owners for the damages they sustained.

Last month, the condo associations for the Trump Towers I,II, and III in Sunny Isles Beach, which were built by Related and Dezer Development, sued the two companies, as well as the construction companies of the project, over 150 defects in the three condos. And the three condo associations of the Icon Brickell have a pending lawsuit against the building’s general contractor John Moriarty & Associates and design firm Arquitectonica alleging construction defects too. Related built the tower, but is not named in the lawsuit.