Updated Jun 23, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Judge approves $1 billion settlement over Surfside condo collapse

Photo of a collapsed condo building with torn walls and rubble hanging off the exterior

Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Fla. Photo: Miami Herald file/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

A judge has approved a $1 billion settlement for victims of the Surfside condo collapse last year, NBC News reports.

Why it matters: The move comes one day before the one-year anniversary of the collapse, which killed 98 people near Miami on June 24.

Details: The settlement will compensate victims and their families for losses of life and property.

  • About $100 million will cover legal fees, while $96 million will go to owners who lost units in the building, per NBC News.
  • The civil case includes insurance companies and the developers of an adjacent luxury building as defendants.
  • Judge Michael A. Hanzman of the Circuit Court in Miami-Dade County had initially approved a $83 million settlement that would go to condo unit owners to cover their property losses. That plan wouldn't compensate the families of the dead.
  • After facing lawsuits and investigations from survivors' and victims' lawyers, several contractors and consultants signed on to the settlement.
  • The developers of the adjacent building, who have weathered accusations that their construction work damaged the Surfside condo and contributed to its collapse, also joined the settlement despite maintaining their innocence.

The big picture: Video released by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) showed evidence of extreme corrosion and overcrowded concrete reinforcement in the 12-story condo.

  • A NIST team is leading the investigation of the collapse, which reverberated across the U.S. as well as Latin America.
  • Investigators have said there is no single, obvious trigger for the collapsee. Answers could take at least another year.

What to watch: Hanzman has said he hopes to compensate the victims and their families by the fall.

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