‘Why Did This Happen?': Lawsuits Filed on Behalf of Surfside Collapse Victims

Several lawsuits have been filed so far since part of the Champlain Towers collapsed

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Terror and panic pierced Raysa Rodriguez’s voice in a message she left on her brother’s voicemail, moments after Champlain Towers South came crashing down Thursday morning. 

“The whole entire building is gone,” Rodriguez says on the voicemail.

Luckily, Rodriguez escaped alive. She’s now filing a lawsuit against the condo association. 

“I want the people to grieve, but a lawsuit needs to be filed that’s why we filed it,” said Adam Moskowitz, who represents her in a class action lawsuit. 

Rodriguez lived on the ninth floor. Her two friends, Dick Augustine and Elaine Sabino, who lived on the tenth floor, are still missing. 

Her lawsuit is one of at least four that have been filed since the collapse.

“The first thing that they want to know is why did this happen and how do we prevent it from happening again,” said attorney Robert Mongeluzzi, who represents the family of Harry Rosenberg. 

The father of three lived on the second floor of the South Tower and is still missing. His daughter and son-in-law were in the condo with him. 

Attorneys are filing a lawsuit and a motion to have a family member act as an observer at the collapse site. They also want a drone to fly above the site to document evidence. 

A lawsuit was filed on behalf Harry Rosenberg, who is still unaccounted for after the collapse. NBC 6's Kim Wynne reports

“The families have not had a voice or set of eyes in that process at all,” Mongeluzzi said. 

Two of the first lawsuits were filed last week, and one of them was filed by collapse survivor Steve Rosenthal, who was rescued from his balcony. 

A spokesperson for the Champlain Towers South Condominium Association sent the following statement to NBC 6:

"While we cannot comment on pending litigation, our focus remains on caring for our friends and neighbors during this difficult time. We continue to work with city, state, and local officials in their search and recovery efforts, and to understand the causes of this tragedy. Our profound thanks go out to all of the emergency rescue personnel – professionals and volunteers alike – for their tireless efforts."

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