Interim settlement agreement for Surfside condo collapse hits over $55 million – KIRO 7 News Seattle
SURFSIDE, Fla. — Survivors and family of victims killed in a 2021 condominium collapse in Surfside, Fla., have reached an interim settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit.
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On June 24, 2021, part of the Champlain Towers South building collapsed, killing 98 people between the ages of 1 and 92.
The settlement was reached between the survivors, the family of the slain victims and two defendants: Morabito Consultants, the insurers who represent the engineering company responsible for inspecting and certifying the structural integrity of the building, and Becker & Poliakoff PA, which represents the condominium association, CNN reported. Settlements agreed to were $16 million and $31 million, while a third defendant, DeSimone Consulting Engineers, the structural engineers of a nearby condo, agreed to settle for $8.55 million, reports CNN.
The DeSimone settlement marks the first settlement with defendants associated with a nearby construction project that plaintiffs blamed for the collapse, the Miami Herald reported. The condo’s developers denied that the construction had anything to do with the tragedy.
The settlement agreement will create a “common fund” to compensate condominium owners for destroyed property, and in exchange, unit owners’ liability for injury and wrongful death would be waived, WPLG reported.
“Upon acceptance of their proportionate share of the $83 million common fund, the surviving unit owners will vacate this matter without further liability except to any tenant or guest who may have occupied their particular unit at the time of the collapse. “said the judge presiding over the written case, according to WPLG.
The $83 million fund is divided into $50 million that will be taken from the first $100 million to be recovered, and $33 million to be paid out of funds raised over $100 million, WPLG reported.
In a statement, Becker & Poliakoff reiterated their denial of responsibility for the collapse despite the settlement, saying, “It is important to note that the cause of the collapse has not yet been identified and we continue to believe that guilty parties should be held accountable. “, reported CNN.
Likewise, Morabito released a statement saying they too were not to blame for the collapse, but had agreed to the settlement to offer families compensation ‘so they can focus on healing’ , reported CNN.
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