An interim settlement, worth $997 million, has been reached for families of Surfside apartment collapse victims


Harley Tropin, one of the plaintiffs’ lead attorneys, announced the decision during a hearing on Wednesday.

The proposal still needs final approval from Miami-Dade County Circuit Court Judge Michael Hansmann.

“We are pleased to offer this recovery to the victims which we believe is extremely beneficial and a huge step forward in ending this horrific tragedy,” Tropin told CNN.

Entities in the proposed settlement include the Condo Association, the City of Surfside, engineering and architectural firms and other firms involved in the development and maintenance of the property and adjacent developments.

Judge Hansmann, who described the speed with which the settlement was reached “extraordinary,” said he hoped to have the case legally closed by the first anniversary of the collapse.

The plaintiffs’ attorney said the proposed settlement could grow further as there are still efforts to reach an agreement with another company.

earlier this year, Settlement of $83 million Landlords who lost their property in collapse, were announced to be paid by the condo association insurance company and sold.

Although the city was not a defendant in the case, Surfside Mayor Shlomo Danzinger told CNN, it preemptively agreed to put $2 million into the settlement pot.

“While the settlement will help families with many of the financial burdens and stress, it is important to note that no amount of money can be considered adequate compensation for the loss of life,” he said in a separate statement to CNN.

Tropin said that within the next few weeks, a judge will sign off on the settlement’s collapse and it will be sent to victims’ families who can either choose to participate or withdraw. After a final justice hearing, he said, those who choose to participate will be able to file suits.

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He said he felt the settlement would shut down for many, but he understood for some that it might not be enough.

“I don’t think anyone would be unhappy with the settlement,” Tropin said. “What they are unhappy with is the tragedy and the settlement doesn’t address that. It enables them not to get involved for years in litigation.”

The victims of the collapse of the South Champlain Towers were from all over the world, and members of a tight-knit Jewish community in South Florida as well as families from as far afield as Argentina, Paraguay and Colombia have been grieving.

Crews have been running rescue and rescue efforts for weeks, combing through rubble and debris while families and loved ones of the victims waited for information.

CNN’s Steve Almassy contributed to this report.

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