$4.2 million settlement in Copper Lounge collapse lawsuits

Investigates

Thursday there is a multi-million dollar settlement in the 2016 Copper Lounge Building Collapse in downtown Sioux Falls.

Hultgren Construction was named in four separate lawsuits over the collapse. The company filed for bankruptcy and this settlement comes out of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of South Dakota.

Hultgren Construction worker Ethan McMahon died in the collapse and a tenant in the building next door, Emily Fodness, spent hours trapped under the rubble.

Insurance policies totaling nearly $4.2 million held by both Hultgren Construction and Legacy Development and Consulting Company, LLC will be distributed among the parties who sued, which include the McMahon and Fodness families.

Attorney for the McMahon family, Vince Roche said, “No amount of money can bring Ethan back, but this settlement is another step in grieving process for his family.”

This settlement includes claims by the City of Sioux Falls and Mid American Energy and others.

Tim Kant, owner of Eastwold Smoke Shop, which was right next door to Copper Lounge and was torn down after the collapse, tells KELOLAND Investigates he’s also included in the settlement, but doesn’t know yet how much money he will receive.

Roche said now that this lawsuit is settled, the McMahon family’s suit against the structural engineering firm on the project, Rise Structural Associates can proceed in state court. Plus, a federal criminal investigation into the building collapse is ongoing. OSHA fined Hultgren Construction more than $200,000 for ignoring safety rules, which lead to the collapse.

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