Avalanche by the surf: Florida judge agrees to $83 million settlement for victims’ families and owners in South Champlain Towers collapse

The Miami Herald reported that the settlement was originally agreed to in February. The Herald reports that approximately $50 million from the settlement will come from payments from the condo association insurance company, while the remaining $33 million will come from the sale of the property where the building once stood. The newspaper said the inaugural bid for the property was $120 million.
The settlement comes less than a year after part of the apartment building collapsed at midnight on June 24 as many residents slept, killing 98 people. The ages of the victims ranged from 1 to 92 years.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hansman has agreed to a multi-million dollar settlement after hearing an emotional testimony that made him cry multiple times.

“Everyone in this case is a victim, there’s no doubt about that,” Hansmann said before giving his final approval. “Please know that this court does not in any way diminish your pain, suffering and trauma… We have 98 people who have lost their lives and this case must be kept in place.”

The heirs of the 98 victims were classified as the wrong death class during the hearing, and the surviving condominium owners were referred to as the economic class. Lawyers for the Champlain Towers South Condominium Association were also involved in the settlement.

The court based its decision on the grounds that the settlement was “fair, reasonable and adequate,” but due to some concerns, the judge announced two conditions he was adding to the agreement.

“Number one, this settlement is going to be contingent on closing the property by at least $120 million,” Hansmann said. “Unless this happens, not a single penny will be distributed to the owners of the housing units.”

“Number two, I’m not going to deduct the insurance,” he said, adding that he would instead deduct $750,000 of the higher amount “which the court will use to partially reimburse attorneys…and for past expenses to maintain these properties even today.”

In his statement after testifying, Hansmann acknowledged that the law and the judicial system would not be able to “alleviate the pain and suffering of these people.”

Hansmann also praised the settlement and the lawyers who he said worked hard to establish it, saying the court did not want to “let perfection be the enemy of good.”

Rescue personnel work in the remains of the Champlain Towers South apartment building in Surfside, Florida, on June 25, 2021.

The tragedy has affected societies in many countries

Victims of the collapse of the South Champlain Towers came from all over the world, and mourned members of a tight-knit Jewish community and families from as far afield as Argentina, Paraguay and Colombia.
& # 39;  Tragedy after tragedy': Champlain Towers South was a disaster in slow motion

At the time, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniela Levine Cava called the crash “the largest non-hurricane emergency response in our state’s history.”

Crews conducted recovery efforts for weeks, combing through rubble and debris while families and loved ones of the victims waited for information.

CNN reports that concrete in the swimming pool and underground garage area has been a focus as engineers and government officials investigate the cause of the collapse.

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