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St. Paul, final victim in deadly Lilydale landslide reach settlement

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The city of St. Paul has settled with the fourth and final victim of the deadly 2013 landslide at Lilydale Regional Park.

Lucas Lee, a St. Louis Park fourth-grader who suffered an injured ankle when a bluff gave way in the park, killing two of his classmates, will receive $20,000 from the city, the Pioneer Press reports.

Lee was 10 years old at the time of the incident. The attorney representing the Lee family, John Goetz, told the Pioneer Press the settlement was also for mental anguish.

According to the Star Tribune, Goetz says the city does not admit fault in the case as part of the settlement, which came to fruition after about a month of negotiating.

Killed in the landslide were two boys: 9-year-old Haysem Sani and 10-year-old Mohamed Fofana.

Devin Meldahl, 10 years old at the time, suffered skull, leg and rib fractures in the incident.

The four victims were on a field trip at the park with their Peter Hobart Elementary School classmates, collecting fossils, when the land beneath them collapsed. They were swept into a hole, which then filled with water and debris.

Transcripts of emergency calls from the park describe what happened immediately after the bluff gave way.

The city of St. Paul reached a record $1 million settlement with the families of the other three victims in the case.

The families of Sani and Fofana received $400,000 each; Meldahl's family received $200,000.

The Associated Press notes the settlement with Lee is pending approval.

Following the incident, the city commissioned two independent investigations, which concluded officials were aware of past landslides, but the failure of the saturated slopes couldn’t have been predicted.

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