Friday marked one year since 98 people died in the spontaneous collapse of a Florida condominium. One day before, a judge approved a large sum of settlement money for people impacted by the Surfside disaster. According to CNN, survivors, families of deceased victims, and owners of damaged property will receive $1 billion.
Search and recovery crews worked for a month following the June 24 collapse to find all 98 victims. The collapse of the residential building named Champlain Towers South happened at almost 2 a.m. local time. About three dozen people escaped from one side of the building that remained standing, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.
An investigation by the Miami Herald found that the collapse started seven minutes before the wing fell. Their work in collaboration with engineering professor Dawn Lehman pointed to “design failures, shoddy construction, damage and neglect” creating perfect conditions for the drop. The building stood for nearly 40 years.
Those who lost their lives under the metal and concrete rumble ranged from ages 1-92. CNN says the tragedy struck families in a close local community but also around the world. Even more devastatingly, in some cases, entire families died.
How Victims Will Receive Payment
The class-action lawsuit involved the condo association, the city of Surfside, engineering, architectural and other development, and property maintenance companies.
Those impacted will be able to submit claims to receive money from the settlement fund of $1 billion. The final settlement reportedly reflects all money available to the victims. This includes insurance claims and the pending multi-million dollar sale of the devasted property.
The collapse is known as one of the deadliest in U.S. history.
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