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All But One FIU Bridge Collapse Defendants Reach Tentative Settlement

Six people died when the bridge fell onto cars sitting at a traffic light on Southwest 8th Street

Lawyers for the families of those killed and injured in the March 2018 collapse of the FIU pedestrian bridge on Monday announced tentative settlements have been reached with all but one of the defendants.

Six people died when the bridge fell onto cars sitting at a traffic light on Southwest 8th Street.

Lawsuits were filed against more than 25 businesses involved in the project and on Monday the lead attorney for the plaintiffs, Christos Lagos, informed the state court judge that all have agreed to tentative settlements, except those related to The Louis Berger Group, the company hired to do an independent peer review of the bridge design.

"We have worked tirelessly to achieve fair settlements for the victims of the bridge collapse and will continue to do so," Lagos said in an email to the NBC 6 Investigators. "If settlement cannot be reached with the one remaining defendant, Louis Berger, we will proceed to a jury trial against that defendant and are confident we will attain justice through that process."

The amount of the settlements are for now confidential, except for the $42 million in insurance proceeds contributed by Munilla Construction Management (MCM) as part of its bankruptcy proceedings.

Since MCM settled, other defendants began agreeing to settle as well and add money to the same victims pool created in MCM’s bankruptcy.

While the amounts paid by each defendants may remain confidential, the overall amount in that victim pool is likely to be revealed in bankruptcy proceedings, Lagos said.

The bankruptcy plan first needs to be approved by the federal judge overseeing MCM’s case – and there are opportunities for MCM’s creditors and fellow defendants to object to the plan.

A retired Florida Supreme Court justice appointed by that court has been reviewing each claim and determining how much each deserves from that victims’ pool.

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