01 November 2017

Hurricane Irma Lawsuit Pits Miami Beach Hotels vs. Roofing Contractor

Hurricane Irma Lawsuit Pits Miami Beach Hotels vs. Roofing Contractor

South Beach Group Hotels has sued Allied Roofing over Hurricane Irma damages to the roof of one of the hotel group’s properties. The roofing contractor has replied with a lien saying it still is owed money for the job.

By Lidia Dinkova | November 01, 2017

This property at 6755 Harding Ave. is the subject of a Hurricane Irma-related lawsuit where the property owner has sued the roofing contractor for failing to finish the roof, failing to secure the roof before the storm and using sub-par materials and workmanship.

Hurricane Irma produced a lawsuit between a Miami Beach hotel group and its roofer less than a month after the wind cleared.

South Beach Group Hotels Inc., owner and operator of hotels in Miami Beach, said its roof at 6755 Harding Ave. was destroyed by the Sept. 10 storm because Allied Roofing didn’t secure the roof correctly and used subpar materials and shoddy workmanship, according to the complaint.

The Oct. 3 complaint alleging negligence, breach of contract and breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, which was first reported by The Real Deal, was filed by limited liability companies affiliated with the hotel owner against Fidelity GBH Group Inc., Allied Roofing’s registered name in Florida.

The owner claims the roofer didn’t finish the roof work — something Allied Roofing President Marcial Garcia denied.

Allied Roofing finished the work about a day before the storm but didn’t have enough time for a city inspection before Irma blew through, Garcia said. The hurricane made landfall Sept. 10 on Cudjoe Key and traveled up the peninsula in the following days.

The contractor is not responsible for the damaged roof because it completed the work to the city and manufacturer specifications, Garcia said. He speculated the roof damage might have been caused because the building under renovation had no doors or windows.

“The hurricane went into the building and from the bottom blew the roof off,” he said. “If you are in your house during a hurricane and there’s no windows, the air comes in and blows the roof off. That’s basically what happened.”

Aside from the storm claims, South Beach Group Hotels also alleged Allied Roofing used subpar materials and handiwork on two other properties under its contract.

Allied Roofing failed “to use appropriate and reasonable materials and/or appropriate and reasonable workmanship in the installation of the roofs” and, as a result, the hotels “suffered and will continue to suffer economic losses and other general and specific damages,” the complaint said.

The company is asking for compensatory damages and pre- and post-judgment interest.

Garcia denied the allegations, saying Allied Roofing used materials manufactured by GAF. Its website identifies it as North America’s largest commercial and residential roofing manufacturer.

For its part, Allied Roofing made claims of its own against the hotel operator. South Beach Group Hotels still owes it money for some of its work, Garcia said. Allied Roofing filed a lien for $21,400 on Oct. 13. That’s the amount the contractor insists it’s owed under the $53,000 contract for work on the Harding Avenue property.

The three-property contract was signed Feb. 13, according to the complaint. Two are at 6755 and 8320 Harding Ave., according to the Miami-Dade Circuit Court complaint and Allied Roofing.

The location of the third property is in dispute. The hotel company said it was 2365 Pine Tree Drive, but Allied Roofing said it was 7600 Harding Ave. Both are owned by LLCs affiliated with South Beach Group Hotels.

Joshua Entin, the South Beach Group Hotels attorney who filed the complaint, and the hotel group didn’t respond requests for comment by deadline.

South Beach Group Hotels owns the Chesterfield Hotel & Suites at 855 Collins Ave. and apartment-hotels, such as the Tradewinds at 2365 Pine Tree Drive and Seaside Apartment Hotel at 7500 Collins Ave., according to its website.

Jason Kellogg, a partner at Levine Kellogg Lehman Schneider + Grossman in Miami, said more lawsuits stemming from Hurricane Irma might arise in the coming months.

“After Wilma, we were helping clients file lawsuits six months to a year after the storm,” he said in an email.

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