Settlement reached in lawsuit over Columbia firefighter's death

Settlement reached in lawsuit over...
COLUMBIA, Mo. - A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed after a firefighter died in a walkway collapse at a University of Missouri-run apartment complex.

Residents had called 911 after hearing and seeing cracks in the walls and foundation of the buildings. Lt. Bruce Britt was working on behalf of the Columbia Fire Department to evacuate those residents from the apartment complex when the walkway collapsed and killed him.
The wrongful death lawsuit was filed on behalf of the widow and a daughter of Britt back in 2014.
His widow said the university didn't properly maintain the University Village Apartments, which has since been torn down.

The University of Missouri curators were named in the suit, along with MU Chancellor of Student Affairs Cathy Scroggs and three Residential Life employees. Scroggs and the Res Life employees have been dismissed.

Court documents indicate the curators denied liability in the case but settled to "avoid expense, delay, and uncertainty of trial."

The amount in the settlement is confidential right now and a judge will have to decide whether to approve the settlement at a hearing next Tuesday.

After Britt's death and the collapse of the building, the university released inspection documents indicate that in 2008, a St. Louis architectural firm recommended the building be demolished because it was in such disrepair.

University Village Apartments was finally torn down in the summer of 2014 after inspections the weekend after the collapse.

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