Two Miami condos sue over sprinkler pipes

The suit alleges CPVC sprinkler pipes are defective.
The suit alleges CPVC sprinkler pipes are defective.

Two Miami condominium associations filed a class-action lawsuit against manufacturers and distributors of pipes for fire sprinkler systems that allegedly are defective.

The lawsuit filed by associations for the Wind condominium and Latitude on the River was assigned to U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez in Miami.

Plaintiffs attorney Ervin A. Gonzalez, a partner of Colson Hicks Eidson, told the Daily Business Review, “This is probably one of the biggest construction defect cases in history. It will be larger than the Chinese drywall problem.”

The suit charges that CPVC pipes for fire sprinkler systems leak due to reactions between resin in the pipes and antimicrobial and anticorrosion chemicals used in construction and in metal pipes.

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Repairs stemming from CPVC pipe failures in sprinkler systems will cost as much as $70 million at both Wind and Latitude on the River.

Wind, located at 305 South Miami Avenue, has 41 stories and 489 units and was built in 2008. Latitude on the River, completed in 2011, is a 44-story, 454-unit condo at 185 Southwest 7 Street along the Miami River.

Gonzalez said the chief chemist of Lubrizol Advanced Materials of Ohio, one of the defendants in the case, realized in 2007 that CPVC resin failed in contact with chemicals commonly used in construction, but the company did not disclose the problem. [Daily Business Review]  — Mike Seemuth