Bridge Victims Prepare To Sue

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Victims of last summer’s August 1st bridge collapse in Minneapolis, which claimed the lives of 13 people while injuring 145 others, have filed preliminary paperwork to sue the state, according to an Associated Press report published on January 22nd. The dozens of victims who were injured when the Interstate 35W bridge plummeted 60 feet into the Mississippi River had a deadline of 180 days from the accident to notify the state of their intent to sue for personal injury, that deadline date was January 27th.

As of the time of the report, Attorney General Lori Swanson’s office had received notice of potential legal claims from 73 injured bridge victims and their family members. Families of six of those killed also had outlined plans to sue the state for compensation, as did 3 insurance companies and the owner of a school bus that was destroyed in the collapse.

“This is a predecessor to the lawsuits,” said Chris Messerly, a wrongful death attorney for a pro bono coalition of law firms representing more than 60 bridge victims.


The investigation behind the bridge collapse is ongoing, and the final findings of the National Transportation Safety Board are expected this fall. Most claims outlined in the notices accuse the state of negligence in its maintenance of the bridge. Others point to the potential liability of a consultant that inspected the bridge, and the contractor that was resurfacing the span when it fell.

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