Belfast Telegraph

Families of US balcony collapse students accept settlement

The families of the five Irish students who died when a balcony collapsed in the US have accepted a settlement from a number of firms, their lawyer has said.

Relatives of the seven injured and the other student who died in Berkeley, California, also agreed to the confidential sum, lawyer Matthew Davis said on Friday.

He added: "This settlement will never restore health or life but reflects an element of justice from the wrongdoers for the deaths and serious injuries caused by the tragedy."

The agreement was reached with a number of the defendants but a legal battle continues with the apartment complex's owner and the property manager and a trial is set for early next year, Mr Davis added.

The students who died were all from south Dublin and were at a 21st birthday party attended by around 40 people.

They were 21-year-olds Lorcan Miller, Eimear Walsh, Olivia Burke, Niccolai Schuster and Eoghan Culligan.

Irish-American Ashley Donohoe, 22, who lived in California and was a cousin of Ms Burke's, also died in the collapse in the early hours of June 16 2015.

Nancy O'Malley, the district attorney in Alameda County, near San Francisco, California, previously said no criminal charges would be brought.

She said there was insufficient evidence for a manslaughter case.

Forensic reports and expert analysis found "extensive dry rot damage" had been caused by water that had been trapped in the deck during construction, her office said.

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