In April of 2009 public adjuster, Rick Tutwiler, was called upon by a former client, who informed him that he had just suffered severe water damage to both of his penthouse units located on the top floor of the 30 story condominium building in which he lived.
The owner, who had enlisted Mr. Tutwiler’s services after Hurricane Wilma, informed him that a torrential downpour and thunderstorms had wreaked havoc on the area and the rainwater was flowing right into the top floor of the building. Mr. Tutwiler further learned that the condominium association was in the process of replacing their entire roof and the roofer, one of South Florida’s largest roofing contractors, had failed to property cover/protect the roof which lead to serious water intrusion into the building.
The damage to the top floor penthouse units included damaged ceilings, lighting, wooden stairwells, paintings, furniture, wall plaster, baseboards, and expensive wood flooring, which showed obvious signs of buckling.
Upon inspection of the damages and assessment of the loss, Mr. Tutwiler noted many concerns relating to the installation of the roof system. This led him to suspect the roofing company was liable due to improper installation of the roof system to specifications and current Florida Building Code.
Aware of the severity of the damage, the roofing company immediately notified their insurance company who sent out an independent adjusting firm to investigate the fact of the loss. During the insurance company’s initial inspection, their adjusters elected not to inspect the damages, and instead attempted to conduct an interrogation of the owner and his family with their video cameras and voice recording equipment setting a negative precedent. After many months of delay, the roofing contractor chose not to accept liability for the claim.
For the next few months, Mr. Tutwiler organized a team of roof experts to conduct a thorough examination of the roof. All confirmed that the roof was improperly installed. The roof exhibited severe ponding, inadequate drainage, and improper flashing around the air vents and mechanical equipment. This was inconsistent with good roofing practice and did not meet the specifications of the current Florida Building Code.
Presented with the facts after more than a year of delay, the roofing contractor decided it was time to make an offer of settlement to avoid further punitive ramifications. In November 2010, the roofing company accepted liability, and compensated the owner for his damages, and repaired the building to meet the requirements of the current Florida Building Code.
Mr. Tutwiler, without your assistance in this matter, we never would have prevailed.” ~ Condominium Penthouse Owner • Miami Beach, FL