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Skyscraper lawsuits soar in San Francisco

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Call it the leaning tower of San Francisco.

The heavy 645-foot Millennium Tower skyscraper has been gradually sinking and leaning since the first condominium units went up for sale in 2006, a disclosure that is the point of contention in numerous lawsuits against the developers and other stakeholders and the subject of the Nov. 5 edition of the “60 Minutes” television news show.

In perhaps the largest suit, the building’s homeowners association in May filed suit against Millennium Partners and numerous architectural, engineering and general contractor firms involved in building the tower, according to media reports. 

By then, the building had already sunk 16 inches. 

Fifty-eight-story Millennium Tower was built to code, but CBS News reports that some engineers now say that the building’s concrete and heavier-than-steel makeup could have been mitigated if its foundation had been driven deeper, all the way to bedrock, to prevent sinking.

CBS reports that some residents have already sold their units. 

"We don't know if this building's going to stand up in an earthquake," Frank Jernigan told a reporter. "And so I became severely frightened of that." 

“And we got out,” his husband Andrew Faulk told the reporter. “We left really most all of our belongings. We just left.”

The couple reported that they lost between $3 million and 4 million dollars when they sold their apartment in early 2017. “We sold it for approximately half of what it was valued at before this news came to light,” Mr. Jernigan told the reporter.