Residents of flooded SF luxury apartment building file lawsuit; allege chronic mismanagement, deceit

ByTim Johns via KGO logo
Tuesday, October 11, 2022
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Residents at the flooded-out luxury San Francisco apartment building 33 Tehama are now suing the building's owner.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Residents at a flooded-out luxury San Francisco apartment building are now suing the building's owner after its alleged mishandling of two massive water leaks.

Saba Mirza and her husband, Rohan, left their home at 33 Tehama in San Francisco to go grocery shopping.

RELATED: Residents at SF luxury apartment displaced after pipe bursts, flooding all 35 floors

But, four months later, the couple still hasn't returned home.

"They basically told us, you can't come back in and we don't know when you can come back in," Mizra said.

The pair are among the hundreds of residents of 33 Tehama who have been displaced for months after pipes burst - releasing 20,000 gallons of water into the high-end apartment building.

At least 400 tenants were displaced. Now, more than 50 have filed a lawsuit against the property's management company, Hines, alleging everything from chronic mismanagement to deceit.

"There's a consistent theme where they weren't getting answers. Where they were left essentially in a lurch," said attorney, Nazy Fahimi.

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At a news conference discussing the lawsuit on Monday, several tenants spoke about their personal experiences since the building shut down.

Many of them said they felt abandoned by Hines and left to deal with things on their own.

"Sorry I just need a second, it's hard to not get emotional about this," said Stephanie Sunwoo.

Former resident, Stephanie Sunwoo, says not only did her apartment get damaged during the incident but it was burglarized too.

"Two fraudulent checks were cashed. So now I kind of have this impending fear of identity theft and my bank information is out there on the loose," she said.

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Tenants of the buildings say they've been told they'll be able to return to their homes sometime next year.

But many tell ABC7 News, they don't plan on coming back.

"It's a chaos of just like lies and mess that they have either done because they are incompetent and they just don't know how to deal with these things or they're trying to just facilitate some fraud," said Rohan Mukherji.

EXCLUSIVE: SF luxury apartment executive calls contractor theft in vacant unit 'unfortunate'

Hines also released the statement below in regards to the lawsuit:

"Since the water intrusion incident in June, our staff has worked around the clock to assist the displaced residents with emergency and permanent relocation options. We have provided our residents with temporary housing and funds for personal expenses. We have also worked tirelessly to repair the building, engaging leading experts to identify and address the building's mechanical problems. We deny the allegations pled in this complaint and we believe that during the course of pretrial discovery, the court and the public will understand the true extent of our efforts to help those that had to leave their homes during these unfortunate and unforeseen events."

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