The following is a description of the accident in a complaint we recently filed on behalf of Bonnie Satarsky in her litigation against BONNIE SATARSKY, Plaintiff, vs. KING COLE CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION, INC., and DIEGON, LLC.,:
- DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT AND DUTIES OF THE DEFENDANT:
The Defendant, KING COLE, owns and has a responsibility for the maintenance and safety of the common areas of the condominium association building located at 900 Bay Drive, Miami Beach, Florida 33141. The duties of the Condominium Association to maintain and keep safe these common areas arise under the common law of the state of Florida and under Florida Statutes, including but not limited to Florida Statute Section 718.113(1) (2007) which provides, inter alia, that “maintenance of the common elements is the responsibility of the association” and Florida Statute Section 718.111(3)(2007) which provides, inter alia, “for these purposes, the powers of the association include, but are not limited to, the maintenance, management, and operation of the condominium property.”
- The duties of the Defendant, KING COLE, also arise under and pursuant to the bylaws of
the association which provide, inter alia, that the powers and duties of the Board of Directors shall include:
a) Operating and maintaining the common elements;
b) Determining the expenses required for the operation of the condominium and the association;
c) Employing and dismissing the personnel necessary for the maintenance and operation of the common elements;
d) Adopting and amending the rules and regulations necessary for the details of the operation and use of the condominium property, subject to a right of the unit owners to overrule the Board as provided in Article 13 hereof.
e) Making repairs, additions, and improvements to, or alterations of, the condominium property, and repairs to reference to the restoration of the condominium property in accordance with the provisions of the Declaration, after damage or destruction by fire or other casualty, or as a result of condemnation of eminent domain proceedings or otherwise.
f) Contracting for the management of the condominium and delegating to such contractor such powers of the duties of the Board of Directors as the Board may deem appropriate under the circumstances, except those which may be required by the Declaration, the articles, or these bylaws to be approved by the Board of Directors or by the unit owners;
(Amended and Restated Bylaws of KING COLE, August 5, 1999).
- The duties and responsibilities of the Defendant, KING COLE, are also provided by and in pursuant to the Declaration for the Condominium. The Declaration for the Condominium provides, inter alia, that, “the Association shall be the entity which shall be responsible for the operation of the condominium. The powers and duties of the Association shall include those set forth in the bylaws and articles of incorporation of the Association, as amended from time to time.” (Paragraph 12 of the Amended and Restated Bylaws of KING COLE, August 5, 1999). The Declaration also provides, inter alia, that, “the Association shall be responsible for the maintenance, repair, and replacement of the common elements and all portions of the condominium property not required to be maintained, prepared, and/or replaced by the unit owner(s).” (Amended and Restated Declaration for the KING COLE, August 5, 1999, Paragraph 13(c)(2). The accident in this case was caused by and occurred in an area within the common elements which the unit owners were not required to maintain, repair, and/or replace.
- The duties of the Defendant, DIEGON, LLC., arise from the contract, oral or written by and between the Defendant, DIEGON, LLC., and the Defendant, KING COLE. The Defendants have copies of the contracts and addenda and amendments thereto. The Plaintiff does not have a copy of such contract and addenda and amendments thereto.
- The duties of the Defendant, DIEGON, LLC., also arise from the fact that the Defendant, DIEGON LLC. undertook demolition, repairs, and reconstruction of the flooring of the common area to the entrance of the elevator on the fourth floor of the condominium building. As such, the Defendant, DIEGON, LLC had a responsibility, duty, and obligation to conduct such demolition, repair, and reconstruction reasonably and in a safe manner to ensure the safety of people such as the Plaintiff herein walking through the area and stepping onto the elevator.
- The Defendant, KING COLE as a result of its contractual responsibilities and
duties of the maintenance, and therefore, safety of the common areas and element, had a duty and responsibility to (a) Maintain a safe area despite the contractor performing demolition, repair, and reconstruction. This includes, but is not limited to (b) Inspect the area on a regular basis and interval in order to ensure the safety of the walking surface within the common area and element; (c) Require that the contractor, and Defendant, DIEGON, LLC. do what is necessary to maintain a safe walking area and threshold to the subject elevator; (d) Provide written or other types of warning to people such as the Plaintiff herein who would be walking on the flooring and into the elevator; (e) Cordon off or block off an area which has unsafe flooring and threshold for the people walking through the area and onto the elevator; and (e) Select and retain only contractors who are professional and who will maintain and ensure a safe area for residents of the condominium and others such as the Plaintiff herein to walk onto the area and into the subject elevator.
- The Defendant, DIEGON, LLC. had a duty and responsibility pursuant to the contract between the Defendants and pursuant to its common law duty to provide due care when it is undertaking activity such as demolition, repair, and reconstruction to provide a safe place for the residents of the condominium to walk and to enter the elevator.
- The Defendant, for an extended period of time on and before the date of this accident during demolition and the removal of the wood parquet flooring on the fourth floor in the common area hallway leading up to the entrance of the elevator, created a trip hazard at the threshold to the elevator. When the parquet wooden flooring was removed, it created a lip which was higher than the concrete slab which was underneath the wood parquet flooring. This lip which was left exposed for an extended period of time during the demolition and repair caused the front portion of the Plaintiff’s shoe to get caught as the Plaintiff was walking into the elevator. This caused the Plaintiff to fall forward into the elevator. When the Plaintiff fell forward, she hit her head on the back of the elevator, suffering a laceration to her head, loss of consciousness, and brain damage. These injuries are debilitating, significant, and permanent.