Jewish Teen Surfside Survivor Files Lawsuit Against Condo Association

Stacie Fang, z'l, and her son, Jonah Handler, who was rescued alive from the rubble; Search and rescue teams look for survivors at the Champlain Towers South residential condo, Tuesday, June 29, 2021, in Surfside, Fla. (Al Diaz/Miami Herald via AP)

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Jonah Handler, 15, miraculously survived the collapse of the Champlain Towers when he and his mother were among the few people rescued alive from the rubble. His mother, Stacie Fang, z’l, 54, died of her injuries shortly after she arrived at the hospital and was the first victim identified in the disaster.

Jonah’s family filed a lawsuit against the building’s condo association last week, the latest in over a dozen lawsuits filed since the collapse of the building on June 24, the Miami Herald reported.

Jonah and his mother, who lived on the 10th floor, awoke that night to a loud rumbling. When the Towers collapsed, they were sitting “side by side in his room when their entire condo unit collapsed,” the lawsuit states.

Jonah’s dramatic rescue. (Screenshot)

“They free-fell to what they thought was certain death. Stacie and Jonah landed several floors below and miraculously were still alive. First responders arrived at the scene and used Air Jacks to remove Jonah from the carnage. Jonah lived, but with devastating injuries,” the lawsuit continues.

Jonah suffered “pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, mental anguish, loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life, expenses of hospitalization, medical and nursing care treatment [and] aggravation or acceleration of pre-existing injury.”

The condo association “knew that the building was structurally unsound, unsafe, and at grave risk of collapse,” the lawsuit claims, citing the 2018 engineers report that chronicled “major and widespread structural damage” in the 40-year-old building.

The lawsuit was filed by Jonah’s father, Neil Handler, acting as his guardian, and Kevin Fang, Stacie’s brother.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)