Miami – Victims’ families The collapse of the South Champlain Towers In Surfside, Florida, which claimed 98 lives last year, it reached a $997 million settlement to compensate them for their massive loss of life and property.
The settlement, which was revealed in a court hearing on Wednesday and is still awaiting final approval, involves insurers, developers of an adjacent building and other defendants in the wide-ranging civil case. It comes six weeks before the first anniversary of The tragedy of June 24.
Judge Michael A. Hansmann of Miami-Dade County Circuit Court: “This result shocked me – I think it’s fantastic.” “This is a recovery far beyond what I expected.”
Before the surprise announcement on Wednesday, a judge approved a much smaller settlement of $83 million to split among condominium owners for their property losses. No compensation was set for the families of the dead, leading to emotional friction and testimony in court at a March hearing between those who lost their homes versus those who lost loved ones.
The settlement grew dramatically after the signing of the developers of the luxury building next door, Eighty Seven Park, and a slew of contractors and consultants sued or investigated by survivors and victims’ attorneys. Prosecutors argued that construction work on Eighty Seven Park damaged the Champlain South Towers – an accusation that Eighty Seven Park’s developers and contractors denied.
The lawyers said the settlement could expand further, to more than $1 billion, if they reach an agreement with a remaining company. Among the companies that agreed to the settlement were engineers who inspected and set out to address serious structural defects at the South Champlain Towers before they collapsed.
Judge Hansmann, who has maintained a strict schedule throughout the case, said he would like to finish the settlement before June 24 and compensate survivors and victims’ families by the fall.
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