The Real Deal Miami

Icon Brickell condo associations file suit against John Moriarty over alleged defects

Lawsuit alleges defective PVC piping is causing damage to floors, walls and ceilings
By Francisco Alvarado | March 01, 2018 12:30PM

Icon Brickell and John Moriarty (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The construction defect saga at Icon Brickell is far from over.

On Feb. 16, the master association and the two condominium associations for the two-tower luxury residential building sued general contractor John Moriarty & Associates of Florida and 20 subcontractors in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.

The complaint alleges that Moriarty and 20 subcontractors were negligent and violated Florida’s deceptive and unfair trade practices act, among other counts, when the companies installed a type of PVC piping that was incompatible with metal piping throughout the two towers that make up the condo portion of the project. A third tower houses the W Miami hotel, which is not included in the lawsuits.

“As early as 2007, the defendants each knew or should have known that certain CPVC material was incompatible with certain metal materials and that using these materials together would cause damage to the CPVC and ultimately lead to its deterioration and failure,” the lawsuit states. The CVPC pipe installed in both condo buildings included a resin that breaks down when exposed to chemicals that are common to construction projects, according to testing from that year.

As a result of the incompatibility, the PVC pipes and fixtures in both towers have been damaged, causing them to deteriorate, spring leaks and lose pressure. The piping is common in Icon Brickell’s fire suppression system, which raises the risk of fires burning out of control, endangering the lives of condo residents and millions of dollars worth of property, the lawsuits allege.

Furthermore, the condo associations are alleging that physical damage to the PVC is spreading to the walls, floors and ceilings of several units.

Jason Trauth, an attorney representing the Icon Brickell associations, and John Moriarty principal John Leete, who leads the company’s Florida operations, did not respond to requests for comment.

It’s not the first time the associations are tangling with John Moriarty and its subcontractors in court. Three years ago, the master association sued the general contractor and more than 20 subs over construction defects to the pool deck.