The ill-fated second tower of the Berkman Plaza Condominium development was reduced to a pile of rubble in a fitting finale on Sunday March 6, 2022 – 5203 days after the collapse of the parking garage on December 7, 2007. The collapse resulted in the death of a young father making extra money to buy Christmas gifts for his newborn daughter. And it generated millions of dollars in attorneys’ time as dozens of lawyers worked for years to sort out liability and damages, and wrangled over how to move forward.
Bachara Construction Law Group was heavily involved in the litigation. The team of Julie Sears, Brent Zimmerman, Brian Crevasse and Chip Bachara handled the legal side, and Brenda deVaux and Diane McGovern managed the administrative side of the case over a span of three years.
More than ten years after the litigation concluded, a new developer and the City of Jacksonville became embroiled in a legal battle over issues relating to the demolition of the building. BCLG was again called upon to provide representation — this time working on behalf of the implosion subcontractor – in an effort to diffuse tensions so that the building could be imploded with minimal exposure on the contractors to the litigation that was being threatened.
To recognize the occasion, BCLG chartered a boat and invited the team that handled the litigation, along with many of the significant players in the development of downtown Jacksonville.
The Berkman Plaza II tower has had more than its share of problems and it is past time for it to be relegated to a footnote of Jacksonville’s downtown development.