$103 million settlement approved for bridge collapse victims
MIAMI (AP) — The families of six people killed, along with 10 people injured, when a bridge collapsed at a Miami university are set to receive a nearly $103 million settlement.
Judge A. Jay Cristol, with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Miami, approved a reorganization plan Thursday for Magnum Construction Management, formerly known as Munilla Construction Management, that includes the settlement. The plan, which was proposed last month, will go into effect Dec. 28 if no one appeals, and the settlement should be split up by next month.
A pedestrian bridge that was being built at Florida International University collapsed and crushed eight vehicles in March 2018. MCM was the project general contractor.
“We continue to pray for the families and friends of all who were impacted by this unfortunate tragedy,” MCM President Jorge Munilla said in a prepared statement. “While no dollar figure can replace those who were lost, MCM placed an emphasis on expediting the process to make substantial funds available for the claimants so that the length of this difficult judicial process could be significantly reduced.”
Attorney Alan Goldfarb represents the family of FIU student Alexa Duran, who died in the bridge collapse.
“The tragic loss of an 18-year-old college freshman is immeasurable,” Goldfarb said. “The Durans will never get over the loss of Alexa.”
Goldfarb said the legal process following a disaster can be frustrating for families, and he’s glad that part of it is finished.
The National Transportation Safety Board issued a final report on the collapse last month blaming design problems and inadequate oversight.
Louis Berger, an engineering consulting firm hired to conduct an independent review of the bridge’s plans, has not joined in the settlement.