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Judge approves more than $1 billion deal for victims of Florida condo collapse

The site where the Champlain Towers South collapsed killing 98 people is shown on April 14, 2022, in Surfside, Florida. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)
The site where the Champlain Towers South collapsed killing 98 people is shown on April 14, 2022, in Surfside, Florida. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

A judge gives final approval to a settlement topping $1 billion for victims of the collapse of a Florida beachfront condominium building that killed 98 people, one of the deadliest building failures in US history.

The decision by Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman comes a day before the one-year anniversary of the Champlain Towers South disaster in the Miami suburb of Surfside, which claimed the lives of almost 100 people, including many members of the Jewish community.

The judge praises the dozens of lawyers involved for averting what could have been years of litigation with no sure outcome.

“It will never be enough to compensate them for the tragic loss they have suffered,” the judge says. “This settlement is the best we can do. It’s a remarkable result. It is extraordinary.”

The bulk of the $1.02 billion total will go to people who lost family members in the collapse of the 12-story building. About $100 million is earmarked for legal fees, and $96 million set aside for owners who lost one of the 136 units in the building.

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