A class action lawsuit brought by the families of the victims and survivors of last June’s condominium collapse in Surfside, Florida, has been settled for $997 million.
What Happened: The settlement involves insurance companies, the developers of an adjacent building the plaintiffs said contributed to the weakening of the structure and other defendants. The Associated Press reported the settlement was announced at a hearing before Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Michael Hanzman, who expressed surprise at both the speed and size of the agreement.
“I think it’s fantastic,” said Hanzman, who earlier in the year approved an $83-million settlement for those who suffered economic losses including personal property and condominium units. “This is a recovery that is far in excess of what I had anticipated.”
The settlement requires Hanzman's approval. It is not certain how the settlement funds will be allocated.
Why It Happened: The 12-story Champlain Towers South property partially collapsed in the early hours of June 24. Ninety-eight people were killed and the remaining portion of the building was later demolished with explosives after rescue crews recovered the remains of those who died.
Champlain Towers was undergoing a 40-year structural review when the collapse occurred. An investigation into the cause of the collapse is being undertaken by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Photo: Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department/Wikimedia Commons.