Surfside victims, families will get $150M in initial compensation, judge says

Surfside victims, families will get $150M in initial compensation, judge says
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The victims and families who were affected by the Surfside, Fla., condominium collapse will receive an initial minimum compensation of $150 million, a judge ruled on Wednesday.

According to The Associated Press, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman said during a hearing that the money for the settlement will come from the insurance on the Champlain Towers South building, as well as the money expected to come from the sale of the Surfside property where the building once stood.

“The court’s concern has always been the victims here,” Hanzman said. The judge added that visitors and renters at the building will also be compensated.

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The AP reports that this sum does not include any proceeds that may come from the multiple lawsuits that have been filed in response to the collapse. Those lawsuits are currently being compiled into a single class-action lawsuit.

“I have no doubt, no stone will be left unturned,” Hanzman said of the separate suits.

One of the lawsuits filed by residents of the building alleged that the condominium association failed to maintain the building's safety. Letters from the association that were written and sent out before the collapse revealed that the association had been aware of existing damage in the building's garage level.

The association's president acknowledged in a letter that the damage had "gotten significantly worse" and was "accelerating."

The death toll from the Surfside collapse has risen to nearly 100 people as of last week. Early in July, the rescue operation was shifted to a recovery effort as authorities deemed that no other survivors were likely to be found.