The Millennium Tower Homeowners Association filed suit Wednesday against the developer, the construction firm that build the sinking and tilting building and even the taxpayer-funded transit terminal next door.
Homeowners have been told it could be two years for the suit to work its way through the courts.
"They feel that something has been taken away from them," said Steven Mayer, a software engineer and president of the Millennium Tower Homeowners Association.
Mayer said some of the building's 1,000 residents have their life savings tied up in the homes that they now cannot sell.
"We want them to have the value back that they justly deserve so they can live the lives that they want to," Mayer said.
The tower has already sunk some 16 inches and is leaning. Homeowners are being warned it could take years to litigate the case. The suit blames the tower's builder, Webcor, the developer, Millennium Partners, its engineers and architects. The suit also goes after the taxpayer-funded Transbay Terminal next door.
According to the suit, Transbay is liable for the damage it caused to the tower's foundation during the terminal's construction. The suit also alleges that Transbay developers knew the Millennium Tower was sinking, but hid the fact from homeowners.
The homeowners' attorney, Dan Petrocelli, said the suit is about more than recouping the costs of the fix.
"There is yet another goal that we hope that this lawsuit serves, and that is to send a strong message and reminder that this cannot happen again," Petrocelli said. "The structural integrity of this building, or any building, should never have to be called into question, not here, or anywhere."
PJ Johnston, spokesman for Millennium Partners, provided the following statement:
"We have been working cooperatively with the homeowners association at 301 Mission Street for the past six months to assess the cause and extent of the settlement of the building. We now know that TJPA’s reckless behavior caused excessive settlement at 301 Mission. Our top priority has always been to achieve a scientifically sound and reliable remedy.
We are disappointed and puzzled that the HOA board now is shifting gears to a disruptive strategy that leaves us no choice but to defend ourselves against false claims. The factual allegations in the Complaint are false, and we look forward to refuting them.
This lawsuit is distracting the HOA board from pursuing the fundamental goal we must share: determining the best possible remedy for the building and implementing it. That should be our focus. It is certainly what the residents are asking for."