Corner cut

They'll be studying the tragic collapse of that beachfront condo tower in Miami for a long time. There were so many things wrong with the building. And with building inspections, you always smell potential official corruption right off the bat.

One suspect in the disaster is revealed in this New York Times story:

Engineers studying the collapsed Florida tower said there seemed to be less steel reinforcement in certain areas than would have been expected from the 1979 design drawings.

Missing steel, eh? Sounds like an open-and-shut case against the construction company. Oh, wait, that company has been defunct and its owner dead for many years. No deep pocket there.

The thought of missing steel takes me back to that time that we all learned that the top floor or two of the ghastly Portland Buiding was missing a bunch of steel

Structural problems at The Portland Building were first discovered during construction, when a city engineer stopped by the building on his lunch break in 1981 and found that reinforcing steel wasn’t integrated into key points of the building’s fifth floor. 

A public buidling, right across the street from City Hall, and they got away with it. Who was on the take on that one? No one was ever even accused. There's hardly any record of the incident on the internet at all. So Portland. 

Anyway, having stayed in condos on Florida's Atlantic coast a few times, I shudder when I look at the news from down there. Lord, have mercy.


  1. And, of course, you've got statute of limitations problems, if you want to go after folks 41 years after construction. Don't know what the statute of ultimate repose is in Florida, or if they would measure from "date of discovery", but geeky lawyer stuff isn't as fun to write about as dead and defunct potential defendants.

    1. If there was fraud, I'm thinking the statute would be tolled until discovery.


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