Victims of collapsed Surfside condo reach $997m settlement over disaster
Victims of the collapsed Surfside condo which claimed the lives of 98 people last year have reached a $997m settlement over the disaster, a court was told.
The nearly $1bn deal was unexpectedly announced during a settlement hearing in a Florida class-action lawsuit representing tenants of the Champlain Towers building.
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman told the court that he was “speechless” that a deal had been reached in the case, according to ABC News.
“That’s incredible news,” the judge said. “I’m shocked by this result, I think it’s fantastic. This is a recovery that is far in excess of what I had anticipated.”
And the judge added: “Some of the victims can never recover from this loss and we know that.”
The figure does not include a minimum of $120m that will be raised when the now vacant ocean-front lot is sold at auction later this month. Property owners who lost their condos in the collapse will share $83m of that based on the size of their home.
The remainder of the funds, minus expenses, will go to he families of the victims who died in the 24 June horror collapse.
The 12-storey residential building north of Miami partially collapsed around 1.15am, with 55 of the complex’s 136 units destroyed.
A massive search and rescue operation was undertaken and it took more than a month for the remains of the final victims to be identified by authorities.
The judge has indicated that he wants the case to be fully wrapped up before the one-year anniversary of the tragedy.