Builder of collapsed bridge reaches deal to pay victims
MIAMI (AP) — Insurers will pay up to $42 million to surviving victims of a 2018 Florida bridge collapse and the families of those killed, under a deal announced Friday between the now-bankrupt construction company that built the pedestrian bridge and its insurers.
The deal between Magnum Construction Management and the insurance companies, reported by the Miami Herald on Friday, marks a step forward in resolving litigation involving families of the six people killed when the Florida International University pedestrian bridge collapsed on March 15, 2018, and eight injured survivors. The settlement agreement was filed in federal bankruptcy court April 30 and must now be approved by a judge.
Magnum, formerly known as Munilla Construction Management, filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. More than 20 other defendants are being sued by victims and they will have to reach their own deals with their insurers.
The National Transportatation Safety Board said in a preliminary report in November that bridge designers overestimated the strength of a critical section of the bridge, though the report did not assign blame for the collapse. A final report is expected later this year. Magnum Construction Company did not design the bridge.
Orlando Duran, whose daughter Alexa was killed in the collapse, attended a news conference Friday to announce details of the deal and said that he hopes more parties come forward to take responsibility. For example, he said the road under the bridge should have been closed while work continued on completing the modularly constructed bridge.
He said there were “so many things that could have been done to stop this tragedy,” which took the “life of my daughter and five other people.”
“She was happy, she was outgoing,” Duran said of his daughter. “She was, to me, my personal friend. I lost not only my daughter, I also lost my friend.”
Information from: The Miami Herald, http://www.herald.com