After months of urging anxious Millennium Tower residents to hold off taking the developer to court, the tower homeowners association notified residents Thursday of its intention to sue both the tower developer and the major transit project next door over the sinking building.
The apparent about-face comes as the homeowners and developer have been locked in months of closed-door mediation sessions about a possible fix for the troubled 58-story high-rise, even as they blamed the $2 billion transit project for destabilizing the Millennium’s foundation.
Until recently, the association wanted worried owners to hold off on a lawsuit against Millennium pending the outcome of mediation talks overseen by a retired judge. Some residents sued anyway.
In the letter Thursday, however, the leadership of the homeowners association announced its intention to go after Millennium Partners in court, as well as the agency overseeing the transit project next door, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority and “other entities in connection with Damages” to the building.
“The lawsuit would be intended to ... hold the defendants responsible for the damage to the building and ... require the defendants to fund a comprehensive repair and restoration of the building, among other relief,” the homeowners association said.
The committee said there will be a meeting on March 6 “to discuss problems that may lead to the filing of a civil action, nonlitigation options and other considerations.”
The letter does not explain the apparent shift in strategy, which comes as the association has hired a high profile lawyer, Daniel Petrocelli, to lead its legal battles. Petrocelli won a civil court case against O.J. Simpson over the death of Ronald Goldman and more recently, has defended Donald Trump over Trump University and Jeffrey Skilling, the CEO of Enron.
Matt Dorsey, spokesman for the homeowners association, referred questions regarding legal matters to Petrocelli, who issued a statement saying in part, “While we remain hopeful that the mediation process will be productive, it is prudent to commence and pursue a parallel litigation process. Our goal is to secure complete relief as quickly as possible.”
Millennium Partners had no immediate comment.