TOP STORIES Settlement approved a year after Florida's Surfside condominium collapse

Settlement approved a year after Florida’s Surfside condominium collapse

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June 22, 2022 in Surfside, Florida, an aerial view of the cleared site where the 12-story Champlain Towers South condominium building once stood. This week marks the first anniversary of the tragic event when 98 people were killed in the partial collapse of a building.

Joe Radle / Getty Images


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Joe Radle / Getty Images

June 22, 2022 in Surfside, Florida, an aerial view of the cleared site where the 12-story Champlain Towers South condominium building once stood. This week marks the first anniversary of the tragic event when 98 people were killed in the partial collapse of a building.

Joe Radle / Getty Images

MIAMI. A Florida court has approved a $1.2 billion settlement for apartment owners and families of those killed in the Surfside apartment building collapse last year. It was finalized the day before the anniversary of the disaster, which killed 98 people.

In a Miami courtroom Thursday, Judge Michael Huntsman called it a “remarkable” result. The victims, families of the victims, numerous defendants and their insurance companies were able to negotiate a settlement within a year of the June 24, 2021 condominium tower collapse.

Huntsman thanked the dozens of lawyers involved in the case, which he said was the toughest of his 35-year career. The judge said it avoided a lawsuit that could have lasted a decade. He said: “These victims and families would have to suffer this and endure this trauma over and over again.”

Judge Huntsman says it’s notable that neither the victims nor the families of the victims withdrew from the settlement.

Lawyers praised Huntsman for his dedication and determination to push all parties to a speedy settlement. The victims and family members of the victims also thanked the judge. Eileen Rosenberg, whose daughter Malky died in the collapse, said that Huntsman “put himself in our shoes (and) mirrored our pain and tears.”

The condominium owners will share the proceeds from the sale of the land on which the Champlain Towers South building stood, which is expected to be worth $96 million. Families of the victims and residents with injuries and trauma complaints will share nearly a billion dollars in compensation paid by 20 defendants. Among them is a newly built residential high-rise building next door and a security company that managed the security systems in the apartment building.

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