Relatives of victims of the 2021 condo tower collapse in Surfside, Florida have reached a proposed $997 million settlement to resolve wrongful death claims against defendants sued over the fall of the building.

The payout, announced in a court hearing on Wednesday, would settle claims brought by family members of the 98 victims of the collapse of Champlain Towers South last June.

Defendants in the case included the building’s insurers, developers of a neighbouring condo building, an engineering firm that warned of the tower’s structural issues before its collapse and others.

The settlement is much higher than most lawyers initially expected. The initial pool of insurance money to settle claims both for victims who lost their homes and for those who lost family members was $50 million.