1:05 PM PDT, May 12, 2022
The settlement is still subject to court approval but was made in record time due to an expedited schedule, attorneys confirmed to CBS News.
On June 24, 2021, the 12-story Champlain Towers South of the Surfside complex collapsed, killing 98 residents and leaving hundreds more without homes or belongings, CBS News reported.
Champlain Towers was in the middle of its 40-year structural review when it partially crumbled to the ground, according to NPR.
Once finalized by the courts and all parties, the $997 million settlement to the class-action lawsuit will go to the families of victims who perished in the collapse, as well as to survivors of the collapse, CBS News reported.
“Although no amount of money will ever be enough to compensate them, we hope the closing of the legal chapter of this catastrophe will bring the victims some measure of solace,” attorneys said in a statement obtained by People.
Miami-Dade County Circuit Court Judge Michael Hanzman will oversee the final step of the process to get the settlement approved, but said in court when the agreement was reached that he was “shocked by this result,” adding, “I think it’s fantastic,” People reported.
“This is a recovery that is far in excess of what I had anticipated,” he added.
Attorney Eric Hockman told CBS News that the amount of money for the settlement may still increase and go past $1 billion should an additional party sign before the end of the weekend.
Lawyers in the case were surprised not just by the sum but how fast it took to reach an agreement, as attorney Harley Tropin told CBS News that cases as big as this usually take five to six years, but the Surfside case was expedited by the judge, allowing for a quick resolution.