Tigard Man Submits Phony Claim for Surfside Condo Collapse Settlement Money, Miami Herald Reports

He claims to have driven to Miami Beach with plans to sleep in his car. That is, until he met a kindly man at a bar.

A 33-year-old Tigard man was one of the victims of the condominium collapse in Surfside, Fla., last year. Or so he says.

His is one of 458 dubious claims that have been filed to receive a portion of a $1.1 billion settlement in the wake of the tragedy, a lawyer managing the class action case told the Miami Herald. Nearly 100 people died after Champlain Towers South collapsed in the early hours of June 24, 2021.

The settlement was reached in a lawsuit filed by the relatives of the people who died, alleging the building was poorly maintained and in urgent need of repair.

In his claim, the Tigard man says he drove across the country to Miami Beach with plans to sleep in his car. That is, until he met a kindly man named Luis at a bar who offered to let him stay with a friend who lived at Champlain Towers. They were outside the building for a minute before the man heard a loud boom and was hit in the head with a chunk of concrete, he says.

He blacked out. Upon awakening and witnessing the mass destruction, he drove home, thinking “about all those people and how I almost lost my life,” he claimed. He told no one until now, as he seeks $50,000 in damages.

The Herald identified a website, since removed, that instructed people how to file “no-proof” claims for settlements like this one.

Michael Goldberg, receiver for the Champlain Towers South condo association, has asked a judge to dismiss this and hundreds of other “presumptively fraudulent” claims, according to the Herald. (Goldberg couldn’t be reached by WW to provide the name of the Tigard man.)

The judge has set a hearing for later this month and is requiring victims to appear. Goldberg doubts the Tigard man, or any of the other claimants with far-fetched stories, will show up.