WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- The class-action lawsuit on wrongful death from the Surfside condo collapse has reached a nearly $1 billion settlement.
- The building collapse on June 24, 2021, claimed the lives of 98 residents.
- The overseeing judge expressed elation at the agreed-upon figure, which was far more than what he expected.
A $997 million settlement has been reached for families of victims from the tragic Surfside condo collapse in Florida.
Ninety-eight residents passed away after the 40-year-old building partially collapsed on June 24, 2021. Fifty-five of the apartment’s 136 units were destroyed. The search and rescue operations continued for over a month, with the final victim’s body discovered on July 26.
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman said he was rendered “speechless” upon hearing the near-billion dollar payout presented by lawyers in court.
Hanzman called the agreed-upon settlement “incredible news,” adding that the figure was “far in excess” of what he expected.
Hanzman had informed the court that he wanted to close the case and approve the settlement by June 24, a year after the tragedy.
Families have been told throughout the litigation process that insurance claims would cover $50 million in the scope of a settlement. Hanzman also approved $83 million in property damage claims in March.
Families had sued the engineering firm that identified structural issues and warned about them, the building’s insurer, and nearby developers, for wrongful death in a class-action lawsuit.
The tragic collapse brought to light previous reports and lawsuits about the building’s structural integrity, including patterns of water buildup and corrosion.
Among the victims of the building collapse were recent immigrants, longtime Floridians, elderly residents, and children.