FIU Bridge Defendants Announce Settlements
Several of the plaintiffs who filed suit after the FIU bridge collapse took the lives of their loved ones or were injured in the catastrophe have agreed to settle their cases for an undisclosed sum of money. The FIU bridge collapse, which made national headlines, took the lives of six people and injured several others. When it became apparent that the companies that constructed the bridge ignored clear warning signs that a collapse was probable, outrage over their negligence spread across the community.
Munilla Construction Management Forced into Bankruptcy
Insurance companies for MCM have already paid out $42 million to a general fund set aside for litigants in the lawsuit. MCM has also declared bankruptcy, filing for Chapter 11 prior to the bridge collapse. There are 20 individuals and estates that have claims against the general fund and 21 companies named in the lawsuit. Seven of those 21 companies would have state charges dismissed against them as terms of the settlement. The remaining 14 are likely to settle once a deal has been finalized.
Munilla applied for protection from their creditors two years prior to FIU bridge collapse. The company attempted to expand its operations into other geographic localities and this proved unsuccessful. They had been in the red since 2016.
Munilla has been named as a defendant in 18 of the lawsuits that resulted from the tragedy. In addition, Munilla had been decertified by the Florida Department of Transportation. This cost them an estimated $200 million in revenue.
Nonetheless, the Chapter 11 filing seems to indicate that Munilla will at least attempt to repay the debts incurred including those to the families whose loved ones died in the terrible accident. Munilla has the option of declaring for Chapter 7 bankruptcy which would result in the wholesale liquidation of all of their assets to repay their creditors. That includes new creditors who have obtained personal injury judgments against them. The Chapter 11 plan included the setting up of a trust fund to repay claims against them.
Munilla attempted to expand into Panama and Texas. It’s Panama company filed for bankruptcy and in Texas, the company was terminated on one of the few contracts they were able to secure. This resulted in substantial losses to the company. When word got out that they were facing a lawsuit related to one of the worst bridge collapses in recent memory, Munilla incurred more debt and fewer contracts. These attempts at expansion occurred during the 2010 – 2011 recession.
Today, the Texas branch remains in a legal battle with the Texas Department of Transportation over a contract that went south. Meanwhile, the Panama branch has been forced into an involuntary bankruptcy. The Florida branch, which is now mired in legal stress over the bridge collapse, has seen fewer construction contracts extended to the company. It seems likely that the company will file for liquidation if it cannot turn the tide and reclaim its reputation.
Talk to a Miami Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you’ve been injured in a construction accident, the Miami personal injury attorneys at the office of Alan Goldfarb, P.A. can help you recover damages related to your injuries. Talk to us today for a free consultation.