Two high-profile Miami architecture firms are duking it out in federal court over the design of the nearly completed Regalia, Daily Business Review reported.
Sieger Suarez Architectural Partnership sued competitor Arquitectonica International Corp. and the developers of Regalia condominium, alleging the defendants swiped Sieger Suarez’s plans for the luxury project without permission or compensation.
The suit filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Miami by Miami-based Sieger Suarez alleges copyright infringement and related copyright violations and seeks damages exceeding $70 million. The estimated profits on unit sales based on allegations that the defendants used copyrighted drawings for the luxury condominium project at 19505 Collins Ave, in Sunny Isles Beach.
Sieger Suarez, which has its named on the Portofino in South Beach, was hired to design the building in 2000 by developers Abraham Cohen and Jerry Kaufman. Finally the firm was replaced and a $150,000 invoice was never paid, according to the lawsuit.
Bernardo Fort-Breschia, a founding principal of Arquitectonica, a prominent Miami architectural firm, said he hadn’t yet read the suit. “I’m confident my firm acted appropriately. I’m also disappointed in Charlie Sieger. I consider him a friend, a colleague and a friend, and he did not call me about it. It’s the first time I hear of this in the seven years I’ve been working on this project.’’
Sieger Suarez claims it was hired in 2000 by prior developers of the Regalia project, but the project hit financial woes and wasn’t built. Sieger Suarez said it found out in 2012 that the project was finally being builtallegedly with its plans.