Hundreds of bogus claims that sought a share of the $1.1 billion settlement in the deadly collapse of a Florida condominium building were ruled as fraudulent and invalid by a judge Wednesday.
More than 450 presumably false claims, most seeking about $50,000, were filed in the court settlement arising from the June 2021 collapse of the Champlain Towers South building in which 98 people died.
The damaged remaining structure at the Champlain Towers South condo building collapses in a controlled demolition, July 4, 2021, in Surfside, Fla. Hundreds of bogus claims that sought a share of the $1.1 billion settlement in the deadly collapse of the Florida condominium building were ruled as fraudulent and invalid by a judge on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022.
The $1.1 billion
settlement fund for families of the victims who died and
those who lost their units and property was approved by the
judge in June.
The money comes from 37 sources, including insurance companies, engineering firms and a luxury condominium building whose recent construction next door is suspected of contributing to structural damage of Champlain Towers South. None of the parties admit any wrongdoing.
A billionaire developer from Dubai purchased the 1.8-acre (1-hectare) beachside site for $120 million, contributing to the settlement.
Champlain Towers South had a history of maintenance problems, and questions have been raised about the quality of its original construction and inspections in the early 1980s. Other possible factors in the collapse are sea level rise caused by climate change, which could cause damage from saltwater intrusion.
A final conclusion on the cause is likely years away. The National Institute of Standards and Technology is overseeing the investigation.
Another hearing is set next week on how to divide up attorney fees and costs from the settlement. Estimates are the fees would reach about $100 million combined.