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Judge: Preserving evidence key to Florida collapse probe

A judge says preserving the evidence is critical to understanding why a Florida oceanfront condominium collapsed and to protecting the legal rights of victims and others.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman said at a hearing Wednesday that evidence will be available to determine the cause of the June 24 Champlain Towers South collapse, as well as for lawsuits filed in the aftermath.

The 12-story condominium building in Surfside collapsed for unknown reasons, killing 98 people and leaving dozens more homeless.

Hanzman says the lawsuits will be combined into a single class action affecting everyone with claims, including renters who lost possessions.

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