Marriott Sued Over Building Pipes Causing Off Gassing of Harsh Chemicals at St. Regis in Miami Beach
Friday, December 7, 2018 9:30 AM
MIAMI, FL / ACCESSWIRE / December 7, 2018 / Less than a week after Marriott International was left reeling over a massive data breach, the hospitality giant is now facing a lawsuit over building pipes at one of its marquee resort brands in Miami Beach, FL. The lawsuit alleges that Marriott concealed from residents and guests that the insulation wrapped around these pipes has historically, and is currently, off-gassing harsh chemicals and odors.
Andre Diamond, a self-made serial entrepreneur and owner of a multi-million dollar penthouse in the ritzy Residences at the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort, filed a 13-count complaint in Miami-Dade Circuit Court alleging executives from Marriott and co-defendant, Seldar, knew and repeatedly denied that chemicals used in sound-proofing insulation around the pipes were off-gassing a ''highly nauseating, repulsive, and repugnant odor…into the air contaminating the St. Regis property.''
Marriott owns the St. Regis brand and manages the Miami Beach/Bal Harbour property consisting of a resort and personal residences, which is owned by Seldar, a subsidiary of the world-renowned hospitality company Al Faisal Holding Company LLC, based in Qatar. Seldar purchased the property for over $200 million. The lawsuit seeks damages and temporary and permanent injunctive relief. Diamond is being represented by Richard Segal and Jamie Zuckerman of the Miami-based law firm Segal Zuckerman.
Attracted by a world-class destination and the lure of a preeminent hospitality brand, Diamond purchased his penthouse in the north condominium tower at the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort in 2013. For $2.525 million, he expected his two-bedroom and two-and-a-half-bathroom unit would include the finest amenities and exceptional living experience in South Florida.
What he didn't expect: harsh chemicals and a nauseating odor that persistently permeated his residence. His belongings, bedding, and clothes reeked. Even when sleeping with his sliding glass doors open, Diamond suffered eye irritation and burns, headaches, respiratory difficulty, and diminished cognitive capabilities. It got so bad he had to vacate his prized penthouse, leaving one of the most sought-after residences with sweeping views of the bay and downtown Miami lying dormant.
Diamond complained numerous times, but management denied any issue existed, even as he most recently learned, select units throughout the St. Regis property had over the years quietly gone through remediation to remove the problematic insulation that is off-gassing. This was kept completely secret from Diamond for years, unnecessarily exposing him to inhale the harsh chemicals and odors and sleep in a contaminated unit for far longer than necessary.
Finally, many years after he moved in, Diamond is starting to get answers, however the Marriott and Seldar are shockingly slow on actions and resolutions. The general contractor that headed the remediation project for other units at the St. Regis agreed to inspect Diamond's penthouse and immediately identified the culprit of the off-gassing as the vinyl insulation material applied to building pipes. This Kinetics Noise Barrier Material manufactured by the Kennedy Company was to muffle the sound of water flowing through the pipes in the St. Regis. But as the general contractor pointed out to Diamond, it indeed was doing much more - harsh chemicals used in the insulation have historically been off-gassing pungent odors that are extremely unpleasant. The Kennedy Company admits this is a problem.
The same day the general contractor finally provided Diamond with the truth about the history of off-gassing and the building, and the culprit for the odor in his penthouse, the St. Regis managers were finally forced to acknowledge the problem and Diamond's unit soon was approved for remediation. The general contractor said work would start on January 4, 2018. Almost a year later, remediation has not commenced and Marriott and Seldar have inexplicably failed to live up to their promise, according to the complaint.
Meanwhile, Diamond cannot live in or sell his luxurious penthouse, for which unaffected comparable residences can fetch more than $3 million. To add insult to injury, Diamond must still pay taxes, insurance and maintenance dues.
For a copy of the complaint, please click here which takes you to Miami-Dade County Clerk of Courts website and type in Local Case Number 2018-040547-CA-01 or State Case Number 132018CA040547000001 or the Plaintiff's name which is ANDREAS DIAMANTOPOULOS. You can also request a copy by emailing [email protected].
About Segal Zuckerman:
Formed in 2018, Segal Zuckerman is a boutique law firm based in Miami, Florida that focuses on business litigation, family law and trust and estate litigation. Founders, Richard Segal and Jamie Zuckerman, are dedicated to personalized and attentive client service, providing each case with the combined efforts of both partners. For more information please visit www.segalzuckerman.com
SOURCE: Segal Zuckerman