By Randi Love
(Reuters) - A Florida judge approved a $1.2 billion settlement for the victims of a condominium collapse that killed 98 people, an attorney for the plaintiffs said on Thursday.
The decision from Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman came a day before the one-year anniversary of the Champlain Towers South collapse in Surfside, Florida. For more than a month crews searched through the rubble of the 12-story building to recover the remains of victims.
The agreement compensates family members of those who died in the disaster as well as residents who were injured or lost their homes.
Rachel Furst, the plaintiffs' co-lead attorney, said the agreement does not include the proceeds of the land sale or the insurance held by the condominium association, which is money the victims and their family members will also receive.
"It was a very emotional day," Furst said, adding that several of the victims of the collapse testified at the hearing in favor of the settlement.
Lawyers for the defendants could not immediately be reached for comment.
The Board of County Commissioners approved a resolution on June 14 to declare June 24 Champlain Towers South-Surfside Remembrance Day in Miami-Dade County, the chairman said in a statement.
Federal investigators continue to interview people with knowledge of the incident and test evidence in order to determine the cause of the collapse. The building was built in 1981 and has faced years of scrutiny over its deteriorating conditions.
(Reporting by Randi Love in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)