A&M President Authorized To Settle Bonfire Suits

The Texas A&M University System regents have authorized school president Elsa Murano to settle lawsuits brought by families over the deadly bonfire collapse nearly a decade ago.

Spokesman Rod Davis says Monday's unanimous vote by the system Board of Regents came a day before a hearing scheduled in Brazos County, where lawsuits filed by several families were consolidated.

 Nine years ago, 12 people died and 27 were injured when the wedding cake-like bonfire structure collapsed while students were building it. The accident ended the bonfire as an annual tradition before the Texas A&M-Texas football game.

The board's decision came five months after an appeals court ruled that Texas A&M administrators weren't immune from state lawsuits. The school had argued that officials were protected by a constitutional right that prevents governmental agencies from being sued.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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