Jul 21, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Judge orders $150M in initial compensation for Surfside victims

Photo of people kneeling and praying at a memorial filled with flowers and plushies for victims of the Surfside collapse

People pray at the memorial to the victims of the collapsed 12-story Champlain Towers South condo building. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

A judge said Wednesday that victims and families who suffered losses in the collapse of the oceanfront condo in Surfside, Florida, are entitled to a minimum of $150 million in initial compensation, AP reports.

Catch up quick: The June 24 collapse killed at least 97 people and led to several lawsuits, per an NBC affiliate. The National Institute of Standards and Technology is leading a federal investigation into the structural failure.

Details: The $150 million covers insurance on the building and the expected proceeds from the sale of the now-collapsed property, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman said at a Wednesday hearing. He added that victims include visitors and renters, not just condo owners.

  • "The court’s concern has always been the victims here," Hanzman said. "Their rights will be protected."
  • The sum does not include proceeds from the lawsuits filed since the collapse, which are being consolidated into one class action suit, per Hanzman.
  • "I have no doubt, no stone will be left unturned," Hanzman said.

The big picture: It remains unclear what led to the deadly collapse. Condo owners have differing opinions on what to do with the site, according to AP.

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