Judge approves $1B settlement in Surfside collapse

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman gave final approval to a $1B settlement just one day before the one-year anniversary of the Champlain Towers South collapse.

SURFSIDE, Fla. – Miami-Dade Judge Michael Hanzman gave final approval in the $1 billion settlement Thursday morning coming almost one year to the day when the Champlain Tower South collapsed leaving families and loved ones heartbroken.

Attorneys spoke with Local 10 News just minutes after the judge’s approval.

“Litigation, it really distracts from the healing and that’s one thing the court has done amazingly is push this through in less than a year.”

While there’s money, so far there is no admission from around 40 entities accused of playing a role in the catastrophic collapse.

More than half of the settlement comes from one company in particular, which is the buildings’ security contractor Securitas. The guard on duty the morning of the collapse called 911 10 minutes before the collapse trying to save lives, but never activated the building-wide in-unit voice alarm.

“We claim she wasn’t trained to press the button, which if she did there would have been an ear-splitting shriek in your condo,” the prosecutor said.

The other big payout comes from those involved in the construction of the condo next door, developers, engineers, and crews whose work is accused of destabilizing Champlain Towers.

One person whose loved one perished in the collapse said that the hearings are “emotionally exhausting.”

The one-year anniversary is Friday with two remembrance events happening in Surfside.

Family members will honor loved ones who died in the collapse. That will be a closed ceremony, followed by a public memorial service at 10 a.m.

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About the Author:

Alex Finnie joined the Local 10 News team in May 2018. South Florida is home! She was raised in Miami and attended the Cushman School and New World School of the Arts for high school.