Joe Montana Piles on Developers of San Francisco’s Leaning Tower

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – The developers of San Francisco’s leaning Millennium Tower have been hit with another lawsuit, this one lobbed by four-time Super Bowl champion Joe Montana.

In the latest of two dozen lawsuits over the sinking and shifting luxury building, Montana claims the developers knew as early as 2008, when the high-rise was finished, that it was settling faster than anticipated.

The 58-story tower has sunk at least 16 inches and is tilting to the northwest by 6 inches at the top, according to the May 4 complaint in Superior Court.

Montana and his wife Jennifer say they “engaged in extensive promotional work” for the developers from 2010 to 2015, yet did not learn about the structural problems until 2016.

As part of an initial lease agreement, and then a reduced purchase price, the Montanas made several promotional appearances, and let the developers use their names and likenesses on sales materials. They want out of the sales and promotional agreements, and damages and punitive damages for breach of contract, bad faith, misrepresentation, concealment, inverse condemnation, nuisance, rescission and non-disclosure of material facts.

The building is so out of whack, the Montanas say, their home is “unmarketable, valueless, and uninhabitable.”

“The interior surfaces of the Montanas’ unit are off-level and the fit and finish of the unit are in disrepair due to the total and differential settlement of the Tower,” according to the complaint.

The Millennium Tower was built using a concrete slab with piles driven into sand and mud-fill, rather than bedrock, the complaint states.

It says the defendant Millennium Partners I and its principals and associates knew the building was settling, but failed to notify residents of the potentially dangerous situation.

There is no spokesperson for the developers, according to the Millennium Tower business office.

The Transbay Joint Powers Authority is also a defendant, as the Montanas repeat allegations from previous lawsuits that the government agency’s construction of a major transportation hub next door to the residential tower “caused and/or contributed to settlement issues at the Tower.”

The Montanas say that as early as 2009, the defendant San Francisco Department of Building Inspection contacted the developers with concerns about the foundation, but “SFDBI received cursory responses and failed to further inquire as to the potential impact and associated safety issues.”

They say the department rejected “strikingly similar” plans for a 52-story building in 2004 because of concerns about the adequacy of the foundation system.

“SFDBI, in fact, took steps to conceal said knowledge from the Tower’s owners and residents,” the complaint states.

The Montanas are represented by Robert Mezzetti II, of San Jose.

Montana, 60, won all four Super Bowls in which he appeared and was named MVP in three of them. Nicknamed Joe Cool, he holds a host of football records, including most Super Bowl passes without an interception — 122 — and the highest lifetime quarterback rating, 127.8.

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