A $1.02 billion settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed over the Surfside condo collapse in June 2021.
“A Black Swan Event”
On May 27, 2022, attorneys on both sides of the lawsuit entered a motion in Miami-Dade Circuit Court committing to a $1.02 billion settlement fund. The suit had been filed in response to an incident in which Champlain Towers South, a twelve-story beachfront condominium, collapsed in a Miami suburb in 2021. The settlement is awaiting final approval from Judge Michael Hanzman, though the decision is likely a formality.
Victims and their families will have to file claims with the settlement fund since the money will not be split evenly. Distribution is expected to begin in September. Additionally, nearly $100 million will be split amongst residents who lost their property in the Surfside condo collapse.
Several sources will fund the final settlement, including insurance companies, engineering companies, and a luxury condominium that had recently been built next door. Under the terms of the agreement, none of these parties is admitting wrongdoing. Judge Hanzman will determine the attorneys’ fees.
In their motion for preliminary approval, the attorneys described the Surfside condo collapse as a “‘black swan’ event that devastated this community.” They also wrote that they were “proud to have met this Court’s challenge to provide relief to the class of victims before the one-year anniversary of the collapse.”
Surfside Condo Collapse Killed 98 People
On June 24, 2021, at approximately 1:20 a.m., the Champlain Towers South condominium abruptly collapsed in Surfside, FL. Dozens of condominium units were destroyed almost instantly, while victims were buried under tons of rubble.
Rescuers spent weeks digging through the wreckage in an attempt to find survivors and recover the remains of those who died. In all, 98 people were killed in the Surfside condo collapse, while only three survived.
Personal injury attorneys then filed suit on behalf of Champlain Towers South victims, family members, and condominium owners. The lawsuit contended that work on the adjacent Eighty Seven Park tower had damaged and destabilized the Champlain Towers building, which required major structural repair. The condominium was undergoing its forty-year structural review when it partially crumbled to the ground.
A team of federal investigators released video footage that showed evidence of extensive corrosion and overcrowded concrete reinforcement in the building. The Surfside condo collapse is tied as the third deadliest structural engineering failure in American history.
In December 2021, a Florida grand jury issued a lengthy list of recommendations aimed at preventing another collapse, including better waterproofing and earlier and more frequent inspections.
In February, the Florida House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill requiring statewide recertification of any condominium building over three stories high and recertification after thirty years – or 25 years if the building is within three miles of the coast – and every ten years thereafter. At the time of the Surfside condo collapse, Miami-Dade and Broward were the only two of Florida’s 67 counties that had condominium recertification programs.
Have You Been Hurt in a Building Collapse?
There are approximately eight building-collapse disasters across the world every year, resulting in 343 deaths annually. Each building collapse kills an average of 38 people.
If you have been hurt in a building collapse, you might be eligible for financial compensation from the responsible party or parties. To help maximize the value of this compensation, consider doing what so many others have done before you and reach out to the knowledgeable premises liability attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers LLC.
With more than $2 billion recovered in verdicts and settlements, GWC is one of the leading Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation law firms in Illinois. Our personal injury attorneys have the experience, the determination, the resources, and the reputation needed to get you and your family the justice you deserve.
Contact GWC today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys. You may call our office at (312) 464-1234 or click here to chat with a representative at any time.