By Hadas Kuznits

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of the nearly 300 residents of Philadelphia’s Center City One high-rise who were forced to evacuate their condos on Tuesday after two standpipes burst, causing widespread flooding.

“The basis for the lawsuit is that there was this catastrophic release of standpipes at Center City One,” said  Attorney Thomas Marrone with the law offices of Caroselli Beachler Mctiernan and Convoy. “And at the end of the day, people who live in a building and have it managed by a company that’s dedicated to managing high-rises can expect that their property’s gonna be free from this kind of catastrophe.”

According to Marrone, the class action filed was led by condo owner Rick Piper. It includes all residents of the building.

“You can imagine the trauma of getting displaced from your home,” he said. “You don’t have access to all the things that you rely on every day, not to mention your personal possessions that are destroyed or at least damaged.”

Marrone said when a class action lawsuit is filed, all those who are a part of the class are eligible for compensation. He said some people may decide to opt out later. In the meantime, he advised all residents to document their belongings for insurance purposes.

“It’s painstaking,” he added. “It’s a pain. But it is a heck of a lot better than not doing anything and finding out a little time later that since you weren’t able to document exactly what in the world you have and what’s been damaged, you’re not going to get any recovery at all.”

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