Victims of the Florida condo building collapse and their families will receive a minimum of $150 million in compensation initially, a Florida judge has said.
According to ABC News, about $50 million of the compensation money will come from the insurance on the Champlain Towers South building. At least $100 million will come from the proceeds from the sale of the property where the condo once stood.
"The court's concern has always been the victims here," the judge said, adding that the group includes visitors and renters, not just condo owners. "Their rights will be protected."
As Christian Headlines previously reported, the condo collapsed on June 24, killing at least 97 people. Recovery efforts are still ongoing.
The site of the collapse has mostly been cleared away, with the debris relocated to an evidentiary collection site where a search will continue "with enormous care and diligence," said Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.
"The enormous pressure of the weight of the collapse and the passage of time also make it more challenging," she said, adding that workers were still searching through the debris for remaining victims, personal property and religious artifacts.
Lawsuits in the case are being consolidated into a single class-action suit that would cover all victims and their family members, the judge said.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology is leading a federal investigation into the collapse.
"It may take years for their report to become public," attorney Michael Goldberg said of the NIST probe.
The building collapsed just as it was undergoing a 40-year recertification process. The recertification process came just three years after an engineer warned of serious structural issues requiring immediate attention. Most of the work had not yet started when the building fell, according to reports.
Former residents of the condo are divided on what to do with the site of the collapse. Some believe the area should be turned into a memorial to honor those killed in the collapse, while others say the condo should be rebuilt.
Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Joe Raedle/Staff
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.