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Blackstone Building owners sue demolition firms over implosion damage

Lawsuit claims owners had no warning about potential property damage

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Five months after the implosion of the old City Hall building downtown, the owners of the nearby Blackstone Building have filed a lawsuit against two companies in charge of the demolition.

The Jan. 20 implosion shattered several windows and caused interior damage to the Blackstone Building on Bay Street. The windows have yet to be replaced and remain boarded up with plywood.

In an eight-page complaint filed Tuesday, the building's owners claim Environmental Holdings Group and subcontractor Controlled Demolition, Inc., did not take proper steps to prevent collateral damage.

The complaint claims the building's owners received no warnings from either firm about potential property damage resulting from the implosion, which was done by shaped charged encased in brass.

In addition, the plaintiffs said they asked the firms to set up a Kevlar curtain to absorb debris and shrapnel from the implosion. But after agreeing to do so, the companies later changed their minds.

The lawsuit seeks damages exceeding $15,000.