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St. Paul Reaches $1M Settlement In Fatal Lilydale Park Landslide

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — The families of two children who were killed — and one child who was injured — after a landslide in Lilydale Regional Park last May will receive $1 million from the city of St. Paul, according to a settlement released Thursday.

The final settlement agreement will be on the city council’s agenda for approval on March 12.

The settlement proposes $400,000 to the families of the children who died — 9-year-old Haysem Sani and 10-year-old Mohamed Fofana and $200,000 for the family of 10-year-old Devin Meldahl, who sustained several injuries in the incident.

The landslide trapped four children during a field trip near the Mississippi River bluffs on May 22.

The children, all from Peter Hobart Elementary in St. Louis Park, were walking together searching for fossils, when a hillside gave way. They were swept into a hole, which then filled with water.

The city funded two investigations last year, which found that city employees knew of past landslides in the park but could not have predicted the tragedy.

The settlement states, in part, “It is understood and agreed that this settlement is the compromise of doubtful and disputed claims and that payments made hereto are not to be construed as an admission of liability on the part of the City of St. Paul, and that the City of St. Paul denies liability therefore and intends merely to avoid litigation and buy its peace.”

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