Judge Pushes For Payout Compromise In Florida Condo Collapse
An initial attempt to mediate a solution over the past two weeks encountered hardened positions between the two sides in the aftermath of the June 24 collapse of the Champlain Towers South building in Surfside, Florida, that killed 98 people.
Attorney Bruce Greer, appointed by a judge to mediate the dispute, said at a hearing that many condo owners want all proceeds from a property sale, insurance and lawsuit damages to go to them.
Some of those who lost loved ones insist the condo owners should be assessed to pay for their losses and may be liable for legal damages because longstanding structural problems with the building were never dealt with, despite warnings.
‘These two positions could not be further apart,’ Greer told Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman, who is presiding over lawsuits stemming from the collapse. ‘This is a heartbreaking situation. These are very recalcitrant positions.’
Hanzman urged those involved to continue talking. He said it was too soon to throw in the towel on a mediated settlement.