Victims of the Surfside, Florida, building collapse should soon be able to claim up to $10,000 each for relocation costs, a Florida judge said Friday, outlining the first payouts available to residents who are part of an ongoing group of civil lawsuits against the Champlain Towers South condominium board.
At a hearing in Florida’s Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Judge Michael Hanzman directed a receiver, who had been newly installed, to “immediately provide notice to the victims of this tragedy that there are assistance payments that are approved and available.”
Up to $2,000 will also be available for victim end-of-life costs, Hanzman said.
Earlier in the hearing, an attorney for the condominium board said that the surviving board members — one is still unaccounted for, he said — had unanimously voted on Thursday to hand over their responsibility in managing victim payouts to a receiver, Michael Goldberg.
“The board not only made that vote but asked me to pass along to the court and to all parties of interest the board’s commitment to support Mr. Goldberg in his mission in order to maximize his efforts for the benefit of all of the victims of this tragedy,” said Paul Singerman, the board’s attorney.
The condominium board is insured for about $48 million across different providers. Earlier this week, one of the companies agreed to offer up its full $2 million policy to the victims.
The early payouts could come from that first pot of insurance money, Hanzman suggested.
Hanzman directed the receiver Friday to also investigate the value of the building’s real estate as another potential source of victim compensation.
Hanzman said he expects the cases to be wrapped up within one year and set a follow-up hearing for Wednesday.