Settlement Reached in Deadly MDC Garage Collapse - NBC 6 South Florida

Settlement Reached in Deadly MDC Garage Collapse

Construction Set to Begin on New MDC Doral Campus Garage

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    Settlement Reached in Deadly MDC Garage Collapse

    A settlement has been reached in the deadly 2012 garage collapse at Miami-Dade College. (Published Friday, May 8, 2015)

    A new garage is coming to Miami Dade College's West Campus in Doral, after a tragic collapse more than two years ago.

    Four construction employees, including Robert Budhoo, 53, died when the garage that was under construction collapsed.

    On Friday construction crews at the Miami Dade College West Campus had the heavy equipment running and the college now has the money to pay to build a new state of the art parking facility -- one that will help the college, its faculty and and students move beyond the tragedy of October 2012.

    NBC 6 obtained the settlement agreement and exclusively spoke to the college about the arrangement reached with more than 20 construction companies.

    "It should have never happened in the first place. There were lives lost but we are certainly satisfied," said Juan Mendieta of Miami Dade College. "We are going to build a brand new safe garage structure for this campus which desperately needs it."

    The college will receive $33 million in total, $26 million plus $7 million from the previous construction contracts that is being waived. Attorney Stuart Sobel negotiated the deal.

    "We weren't going to patch it. We weren't going to make repairs. We weren't going to use spit and glue. We need to make sure there was enough money--enough funding--to take the whole garage down and start fresh," Sobel said.

    NBC6 was the first to report that investigators concluded the collapse took place because a support column was not reinforced.

    "There was a column--a structural column--that needed to have grout or some kind of cement," Sobel Said. "They missed--they simply missed the fact that the column was not grouted safely."

    Students have been riding buses or walking a distance to get to the campus. They can't wait until the new garage is completed.

    "Yes its a real inconvenience now. I have to park at the International Mall and ride a bus and its a hassle. It really is," said Manuel Becerra, an engineering student.

    The new garage will have 15 hundred spaces. 

    "So we are looking forward to the garage structure to finally make this campus the gem and a source of pride in this important community that it should be," Mendieta said.

    None of the construction companies in the legal settlement make any admission of wrongdoing and the college is waiving its right to go back and sue them again down the road.

    The new garage should be finished in about two years.

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