residents were forced to evacuate April 14 after
building officials declared it structurally unsafe.
They have filed a class action lawsuit against three
members of the condo board.
The suit alleges that the three
members of the board -- Leopoldo Gonzalez, Emilio
Berkowitz and Horacio Mecozzia -- knew of the
building's mounting problems and ignored them.
The three board members own 150
of the 540 units at Castle Beach Condominiums, 5445
According to the suit, the three "knew
about numerous code violations and failed to remedy them despite
demand from the city of Miami Beach.''
The suit also says that the condominium has forced
hundreds of residents to ''remain liable for maintenance, assessments,
taxes and mortgage obligations'' on units they are not allowed to
visit without first making an appointment.
Michael Gongora, the attorney representing the
three board members, said his clients ``deny many of the allegations
contained in the complaint.''
He also questioned the need for a class action
suit since many of the same allegations have already been raised in a
separate lawsuit filed by another unit owner.
Building officials ordered the evacuation after
finding electrical wiring defects they say made the structure unsafe.
The short notice prompted an outcry from resident but city officials
said the building had had a growing list of violations over the past
In April, residents said they were told by
building inspectors said it could take 7 to 10 days to get temporary
fixes in place that would allow them to move back in.