A look at big US legal settlements amid Surfside’s $1B deal

May 28, 2022, 10:00 AM | Updated: 10:03 am

FILE - Workers pump water out of the foundation of the former Champlain Towers South building, Thur...

FILE - Workers pump water out of the foundation of the former Champlain Towers South building, Thursday, May 12, 2022, in Surfside, Fla. Attorneys for the families who lost relatives or homes in last year’s collapse of a Florida condominium tower that killed 98 people finalized a $1 billion settlement on Friday, May 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier, File)

(AP Photo/Marta Lavandier, File)

The proposed settlement of more than $1 billion as compensation for the 98 people who died in a Florida condominium collapse is far from the largest in U.S. history.

Even adding in the $96 million proposed for property owners in the Champlain Towers South disaster wouldn’t bring it close to the biggest such legal deals.

A judge gave initial approval to the deal on Saturday. Final approval is expected in the coming weeks for the settlements, which came out of lawsuits filed after the 12-story beachfront building tumbled down last June in Surfside. The exact causes of the collapse have yet to be determined.

Other major U.S. legal settlements include:


A Victim Compensation Fund established after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks has paid out more than $7 billion to about 5,500 individuals and families who were injured or lost a loved one. The program had been set expire in December 2020 but was renewed by Congress for the coming decades in part because so many 9/11-related illnesses do not appear right away.


The 2010 Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig explosion that killed 11 people dumped tens of millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, fouling beaches, ruining fisheries and killing birds. It resulted in a $20.8 billion settlement, the largest involving the environment in history, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The money goes to a variety of programs. BP, an owner and operator of the rig, also paid $4 billion in criminal fines for Clean Water Act violations.


The 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement between four cigarette makers, the federal government and 46 states requires the companies to pay $206 billion over 25 years and another $9 billion each year after that. Four states, including Florida, reached their own settlements with tobacco companies. The money largely goes to help states handle the long-term health costs of smoking.


In 1998, Dow Corning Corp. settled a class-action lawsuit by agreeing to pay about $3.2 billion to an estimated 170,000 women who said they suffered injuries and illnesses caused by silicone breast implants.


Shareholders in the now-defunct Enron Corp. reached a $7.2 billion settlement in 2008 after a massive accounting fraud scandal was uncovered, showing how the company’s earnings had been misrepresented. Enron, which once had some 29,000 employees, declared bankruptcy and essentially went out of business in December 2001.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


deadly heat wave last summer...

Associated Press

After a deadly heat wave last summer, metro Phoenix is changing tactics

Fresh memories of the deadly heat wave last summer have led Arizona authorities to launch new tactics ahead of summer 2024.

12 hours ago

A Yuma man has been arrested for allegedly starting a wildfire in a national wildlife preserve near...

Associated Press

Man accused of starting wildfire in national wildlife preserve in Yuma

A Yuma man has been arrested for allegedly starting a wildfire in a national wildlife preserve near the California border.

1 day ago

Colorado River settlement center of new Navajo Nation push...

Associated Press

Tribes say their future is at stake as they push for Congress to consider Colorado River settlement

Navajo officials are celebrating the signing of legislation outlining a proposed Colorado River settlement that would ensure water rights.

4 days ago

Arizona doctors California abortions...

Associated Press

Arizona doctors can come to California to perform abortions under new law signed by Gov. Newsom

Arizona doctors can temporarily come to California to perform abortions for their patients under a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

5 days ago

Father convicted of first-degree murder in northern Arizona...

Associated Press

Arizona man convicted of first-degree murder in starvation death of 6-year-old son

A northern Arizona father was convicted of first-degree murder Thursday in the 2020 starvation death of his 6-year-old son.

5 days ago

Former President Donald Trump sits in a courtroom next to his lawyer Todd Blanche before the start ...

Associated Press

Trump hush money trial enters new phase after defense rests without testimony from former president

Donald Trump's hush money trial is now closer to the moment when the jury will begin deciding the former president's fate.

7 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.



Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

A look at big US legal settlements amid Surfside’s $1B deal