Survivors and families of victims of a building collapse in Surfside, Florida, who left 98 dead last year, they will receive at least $997 million after a judicial agreement reached this Wednesday, as confirmed by one of the plaintiffs’ lawyers.
“The agreement right now is for 997 million dollars. There will be approximately another 100 million dollars that we will recover,” said lawyer Carlos Silva, according to the AFP agency.
Among the fatal victims of the collapse were nine Argentines.
They were identified as Nicole “Nicky” Langesfeld, a 26-year-old attorney; Ian Naibryf, a 21-year-old physics student; the photographer Graciela Cattarossi, 48; her daughter Estela, 7; her sister Andrea; and her parents (one of them is Uruguayan); the plastic surgeon Andrés Galfrascoli, 44, his partner Fabián Nuñez, 55, and Sofía, 5.
So was the Champlain Towers South. AP Photo
The 12-story Champlain Towers South building partially collapsed in the early morning of June 24 facing the sea in Surfside, north of Miami Beach.
The agreement, announced Wednesday in a Miami-Dade County court, settles a class action lawsuit against several entities.
For example, the construction company of a building next to Champlain Towers South, accused by the victims of contribute to the collapse by having generated vibrations while working on the adjacent land.
The reasons for the catastrophe have not yet been established with certainty, but the first elements of the investigation revealed that the structure of the building seemed to be degraded in some parts.
After the collapse, firefighters worked for weeks looking for possible survivors.
But, with the exception of a teenager rescued hours after the collapse, no one was found alive in the rubble.
Memorial built in homage to the victims. AFP photo
The judge in charge of the case, Michael Hanzman, had already approved in March an agreement of 83 million dollars for the owners of apartments in the building.
the last victim
In July 2021, authorities in Miami-Dade County (Florida, United States) identified Estelle Hedaya, 54, as the last victim of the sudden collapse of a beach condo.
With Hedaya, the search was closed, with a total of 98 deaths due to the collapse of the Champlain Towers South residential building, which occurred at midnight on June 24 last year in Miami-Dade County.
“We have identified the last missing person (in the collapse) and informed his family,” Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said at a press conference on Monday.
Levine Cava explained that police officers and specialists continue to recover “identifiable human remains” and personal belongings in the pile of rubble moved from the scene of the incident to a warehouse in Miami.
He recalled with emotion the “overflowing generosity and love of so many people” since this “unthinkable tragedy” occurred in which “we have seen the best of human beings as a community.”