In 2021, the Champlain Towers South, a 12-story condo building, collapsed, resulting in nearly 100 deaths. The tragedy took a tremendous toll on many families in the region and resulted in an extensive investigation to determine the reasons for the collapse.
As the investigation continued, several lawsuits were filed against various entities involved in ownership and operation of the tower, insurers of the condo, as well as against nearby building owners, who were performing construction on their building at the time the incident occurred. A billion-dollar settlement was recently reached, allowing many of the impacted parties to recover the compensation they badly need to move forward after such a catastrophic event.
An unfortunate development
Officials and residents had hoped that this settlement would be a relatively painless process, and that those who sustained property damage or lost a loved one would be able to easily obtain the recovery they were entitled to receive.
Unfortunately, news of the settlement resulted in several claims being made to obtain a portion of the funds made available to past residents and loved ones left behind. The court looked closely at requests for compensation filed in this case and discovered roughly 450 claims that were deemed to be invalid.
A hearing was held to examine these claims in greater detail. None of the potentially excluded claimants made an appearance to show that their claims were indeed legitimate. No evidence was demonstrated that showed these individuals had any sort of connection to the building or to someone who died in the collapse.
It was determined that a majority of the claims came from a website geared toward helping individuals recover compensation in class action lawsuits. People submitted claims alleging they were in the building when it collapsed or otherwise connected to the case, but data collected at the scene at the time of the event easily demonstrated that the claims were illegitimate.
The need to be wary of false claims
False claims hold the potential to harm everyone involved in the insurance industry, including policyholders. They slow down the claims process and can create unnecessary hurdles for those suffering legitimate losses, especially those that need immediate assistance (through prompt payment of policy benefits) to work their way through a catastrophic loss. If your company has suffered a legitimate loss, our team can help. We work with businesses and high net worth individuals to help pursue insurance coverage on behalf of policyholders and claimants for virtually any type of significant loss.