Mother still looking for answers months after FIU bridge collapse killed daughter
The bankrupt construction company that built the doomed Florida International University bridge has reached a deal with its insurers to pay up to $42 million to victims and their families.
The deal between Magnum Construction Management, formerly known as Munilla Construction Management, and the insurance companies is a step forward in resolving complicated litigation involving families of the six people who died on March 15, 2018, and eight injured survivors.
“I hope this is the first major step in getting closure for these families that desperately need it,” said attorney Alan Goldfarb, who is representing the family of Alexa Duran, a student at FIU who was killed when the newly built pedestrian bridge collapsed on her car. “It’s terrible what they are going through. The court case has become a second punishment.”
The settlement agreement, filed in federal bankruptcy court April 30, must be approved by a judge. The South Florida Business Journal first reported the deal. MCM, which was one of South Florida’s premier construction companies, filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.
Families and attorneys are awaiting a final verdict from the National Transportation Safety Board on what caused the bridge’s collapse. But preliminary findings from the NTSB and a Miami Herald investigation suggest design flaws — not construction mistakes — were to blame for the accident. MCM built but did not design the bridge. Although the bridge developed alarming cracks in the days before it fell, no one decided to close Southwest Eighth Street, the busy commuter road running underneath it.
The Florida Department of Transportation supervised the project.
More money will likely be available in the case. There are more than 20 other defendants being sued by victims. They will have to reach their own deals with their insurers.
A spokesman for MCM said he was not immediately able to comment.