$997M settlement reached in Surfside condo collapse lawsuit, lawyer says

- Curt Anderson

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – A nearly $1 billion tentative settlement has been reached in a class-action lawsuit brought by families of victims and survivors of last June’s condominiu­m collapse in Surfside, Florida, an attorney said.

Harley S. Tropin announced the $997 million settlement at a hearing Wednesday before Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Michael Hanzman. Pending approval, the settlement involves insurance companies, developers of an adjacent building and other defendants.

This year, Hanzman had approved an $83 million settlement to compensate people who suffered economic losses such as condominiu­m units and personal property.

The 12-story Champlain Towers South collapsed in the early hours of June 24, destroying dozens of individual units and burying victims under tons of rubble. Rescuers spent weeks digging through mountains of concrete, first to find survivors and later to recover bodies. Ninety-eight people died.

The main lawsuit, filed on behalf of Champlain Towers South victims and family members, contends that work on the adjacent Eighty Seven Park tower destabiliz­ed the Champlain Towers building, which was in dire need of structural repair. Champlain Towers was in the midst of its 40-year structural review when it partially crumbled.

The collapse triggered lawsuits from victims, families and condo owners as well as state and federal investigat­ions. In December, a Florida grand jury issued a lengthy list of recommenda­tions aimed at preventing another condominiu­m collapse, including earlier and more frequent inspection­s and better waterproof­ing.

The building was in Surfside, just north of Miami Beach. The enclave comprises a mix of older homes and condos similar to the collapsed tower built decades ago for the middle class and recently erected luxury condos drawing the wealthy. That includes Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, who live about a block north of the collapsed condo.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States