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Surfside Condo Collapse Lawsuits Are a Fight Over Just $50 Million

The limited pool of funds is pitting Champlain Tower residents who suffered only property damage against those who lost loved ones or suffered injuries that could have long-term consequences.

7/29/2021 5:30:00 PM

Plaintiffs’ lawyers have filed some two dozen lawsuits following the collapse of the Champlain Towers South condo tower last month. The lawyers say it would take $1 billion to compensate everyone fairly.

The limited pool of funds is pitting Champlain Tower residents who suffered only property damage against those who lost loved ones or suffered injuries that could have long-term consequences.

July 29, 2021 8:29 am ETPlaintiffs’ lawyers have filed some two dozen lawsuits following the collapse of the Champlain Towers South condo tower last month, seeking payouts for the98 deaths and destruction of 136 apartmentsit caused. The lawyers say it would take $1 billion to compensate everyone fairly.

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But the pool of money currently available for the Miami-area disaster is far smaller—some $50 million from insurance policies in place for the condo association, according to attorneys and court filings. The shortfall is so significant that the potential settlement might not even be enough to cover some residents for the value of their lost units, said Brad Sohn, one of the plaintiffs attorneys appointed by the court to lead the litigation.

Already, the limited pool of funds is pitting Champlain Tower residents who suffered only property damage against those who lost loved ones or suffered injuries that could have long-term consequences.The insurance “will obviously be inadequate to compensate everyone fully to the extent of their horror,” Judge Michael Hanzman of the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida said at an early hearing. “There’s going to be a very serious allocation issue between those people who tragically lost loved ones and were lucky enough to only lose property.” headtopics.com

The Champlain Towers South litigation is constrained by a conservative property-insurance policy and a push by the judge to resolve the lawsuits on an accelerated timeline. The main defendant isn’t a multinational corporation or a wealthy developer but the condo board, a nonprofit with limited financial resources.

Read more: The Wall Street Journal »

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NPR Cookie Consent and ChoicesThe structural Engineer told them many years ago about the risk. Nobody listened. Houses of cards. Now are condo building owners going to invest in real structural safety or are they going to engage in structural safety theater?

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