The City of St. Paul will pay a $1 million settlement to the families of three fourth graders killed and injured in a landslide last year.
The City Council next week is scheduled to approve the settlement with the families of Haysem Sani, Mohamed Fofana and Devin Meldahl, students at Peter Hobart Elementary School in St. Louis Park.
Haysem and Mohamed were killed in a landslide at Lilydale Regional Park on May 22, 2013. Their families will each receive $400,000. Devin suffered skull, leg and rib fractures. His family will receive $200,000.
St. Paul Finance Director Todd Hurley said it was the largest settlement he could remember in at least the last 10 years.
Two city-funded investigations last year revealed St. Paul city employees were aware of past landslides in Lilydale, but concluded the city could not have predicted the danger. Those investigations cost the city $180,000.
The landslide at the 384-acre urban nature preserve along the Mississippi River occurred in one of its "clay pits" — a popular destination for school fossil-hunting field trips. Those areas of the park remain closed to the public.
After the tragedy, the boys' parents said the elementary school did not inform families beforehand that the city of St. Paul warns visitors that parts of Lilydale Regional Park are hazardous and unsafe.
The families are still negotiating a separate claim with the St. Louis Park school district.
Attorneys for the city and the parents agreed not to speak to the media as part of the settlement, except to say they are satisfied with it.
"Obviously money is no consolation [to the families], and we feel as badly as anybody," St. Paul City Council Member Dave Thune said.
• Report says St. Paul didn't know of danger
• Parents say school should have warned them of dangers before Lilydale park landslide
• Story: Family, community mourns children who died
• Photos: Scenes from the May 2013 rescue and recovery
• What caused the Lilydale landslide?