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More than 400 phony claims tossed out by judge in Champlain Towers South litigation

Workers pump water out of the foundation of the former Champlain Towers South building, Thursday, May 12, 2022, in Surfside, Fla. The Eighty Seven Park building is to the south. Parties associated with the building and others have agreed to a settlement of $997 million to compensate the victims and families of those killed when the Champlain Towers South building collapsed nearly a year ago. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)
The Associated Press
Rescue crews continued working through the weekend at the site of Champlain Towers South, which collapsed early Thursday morning.

Hundreds of claims on the more than $1 billion settlement from the Champlain Towers South case have been tossed out as phony.

The court-appointed receiver, attorney Michael Goldberg, had deemed more than 450 claims fraudulent. Now, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman said he has thrown them out.

READ MORE: How a court will decide on the value of each human life lost in Surfside's condo building collapse

Some claimants, for instance, lied about being in the building at the time of the collapse last summer , or said they lived in units that did not exist. None of the fraudulent claimants showed up.

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The collapse of the condominium building on June 24, 2021 killed 98 people.

The court hearing on Wednesday took place both in person and online. Several unidentified people repeatedly interrupted the Zoom hearing by shouting and using obscenities and racial slurs. The disruptions stopped when the judge threatened to arrest them.

The next hearing takes place next week and will focus on compensation for the attorneys who have counseled the survivors and families of the victims.

Verónica Zaragovia was born in Cali, Colombia, and grew up in South Florida. She’s been a lifelong WLRN listener and is proud to cover health care, as well as Surfside and Miami Beach politics for the station. Contact Verónica at vzaragovia@wlrnnews.org
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