Billions in Compensation for US Home Collapse Victims

AmericaSurvivors and families of those killed in the collapse of a 12-story Florida home last year have agreed to at least $997 million in compensation.

“The payment is currently $997 million. We will be seeking hundreds of millions more dollars,” said attorney Carlos Silva, representing victims of the Nov. 5 Miami, Florida apartment building collapse.

This amount will be divided among the family members of those killed, injured or displaced in the disaster. The distribution plan will be determined in the coming weeks. Compensation was paid by insurance companies, real estate developers and other defendants in the lawsuit.

The vacant lot used to be where the Nam Champlain Tower apartment building was seen from above on May 5.  Photo: AFP

The vacant lot used to be where the Nam Champlain Tower apartment building was seen from above on May 5. Picture: AFP

Part of the South Champlain Tower, a 12-story building constructed in 1981 in Surside, a town just north of Miami’s beach, collapsed on June 24, 2021 while dozens of residents slept inside.

Except for a teenager who was rescued hours after the house collapsed, the rescue team found no survivors and then focused on collecting the victim’s remains. 98 people died, the body was finally found after almost a month.

The cause of the collapse has not yet been investigated, although initial evidence shows that the structure of the building has deteriorated.

The settlement was announced in Miami-Dade County Court after the victims filed a class action lawsuit against several defendants, including the owner of the building next to the South Champlain Tower. The lawsuit alleges that vibrations from neighboring buildings contributed to the collapse of the home.

Harley Tropin, the plaintiff’s attorney, said the settlement brought relief to the survivors and families of the dead.

“While no amount of money can compensate them, we hope the conclusion of the court case will bring comfort to the victims,” ‚Äč‚ÄčTropin said.

Hong Hanh (Corresponding AFP)