The June 24, 2021, collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, FL, left many injured and 98 people dead. It was all the more tragic in that the circumstances could have been avoided if it wasn’t for human error and oversight even as the 40-year-old building deteriorated.
This case involved many guilty parties and victims; nonetheless, it will likely conclude by the first anniversary of the collapse. The judge already approved $83 million for residents’ property losses earlier, but $997 million to dead victims’ families left even the judge thrilled with the size and speed of the settlement of a case that many predicted would last years. An additional estimated $120 million will also be added to the settlement when the land where the two buildings stood (one collapsed and the other was demolished after the collapse) is sold at auction.
The plaintiffs settled with at least ten entities, including the insurers of the security company for Champlain South, the developers of the condominium next door, engineers, architects, a law firm and the Champlain South condo association and others. The amounts paid or will be paid include:
- The insurer for the security firm that was responsible for the building’s safety systems will pay $450 million.
- The condo association’s insurer paid $50 million.
- The engineering firm hired to inspect and repair the buildings just before Chaplain Towers South collapsed will pay $16 million.
- The engineering firm for the neighboring building that helped cause the collapse paid about $8.5 million.
Closure within a year
The judge says he plans to wrap it up by the first anniversary. Not all parties admitted fault in their settlements, but the size of the payments speaks for itself. There have been no details regarding how the money would be divided among the victims.