The victims and relatives of the 97 who died in the collapse of a residential building in Surfside, in the south of FloridaThe United States will initially receive $ 150 million in compensation, a Miami judge reported Wednesday.
Magistrate Michael Hanzman indicated in a hearing that the amount will arise from the disbursement of the insurance Champlain Towers South and of the foreseeable sale of the land where the 12-story condominium was erected, which collapsed at dawn on June 24 for causes that are still the subject of federal investigation.
Hanzman, who at the hearing stressed that the rights of the victims will be protected, specified that the figure does not include what results from the multiple class action lawsuits filed after the event in which at least 97 people died, 95 of them identified by local authorities.
If the victims and family members wanted, all those complaints can be consolidated into a single class action lawsuit that covers all those affected, the judge explained.
This same Wednesday, several media in South Florida realized that the site where until recently there was a mountain of rubble and crews of lifeguards worked is now practically clean and uncluttered And, in fact, State Senator Jason Pizzo posted photos of the area on his Twitter account.
Attorney Michael Goldberg, appointed by Hanzman to handle the finances of the condo built in 1981, confirmed at today’s hearing that the area is clear of debris, in a process that has been overseen by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NITS). , for its acronym in English), the agency leading the federal investigation into the collapse.
He added that the remains of the building have been stored in a Miami warehouse that have been considered key evidence for the NITS investigation, whose final report can take years, as well as for the judicial processes.
According to the authorities, they were removed from the place about 10,000 tons of rubble ever since the building collapsed.
Champlain Towers South was in the midst of a recertification process – a study of structures and electricity required by law as a 40-year-old building – when it collapsed in the middle of the night and at a time when its occupants were asleep.
Three years earlier, a report by an engineering firm warned of serious structural problems in the building that deserved urgent attention.
What will they do in that field
The judicial hearing also served for victims, relatives and owners of some of the more than 130 apartments that the condominium housed to express their points of view on what to do on the ground. valued at about $ 100 million.
While some want a new condominium to be built on the site that can be inhabited, others disagreed and, on the contrary, proposed that a memorial be built there.
Some pointed out that both options are compatible and that on the land, on the beachfront, a new residential building can be erected that at the same time includes a memorial in honor of the victims and those affected.
“A lot of people feel like they would like to get their home back,” Oren Cytrynbaum told the hearing.
This owner of a Champlain Towers South apartment stressed that today for many it would be a “mission impossible” to return to own a property like the one they had in the condominium, “considering the prices of the houses, especially the properties facing the sea.” .
The magistrate pointed out that all the options must be taken into account, but without letting time pass in view of the fact that the victims need monetary compensation to rebuild their lives.
Among the victims of the event, in addition to Americans, there are Argentines, Cubans, Uruguayans, Colombians, Chileans, Venezuelans, Paraguayans and Israelis, among other nationalities.
The last body to be identified corresponds to Theresa Velasquez, 36, whose body was extracted from the rubble on July 8.