Legal History

Famous Lawyer Defended Bridge Suit


Lawsuits following a major tragedy such as the Minneapolis bridge collapse aren’t considered all that unusual–unless one of the lawyers involved in the litigation turns out to be a future president of the United States.

That was the scenario following the 1856 collapse of a wooden bridge connecting Rock Island, Ill., and Davenport, Iowa, according to Quad-Cities Online. The owners of the steamship destroyed in the resulting fire sued the railroad that built the bridge.

Abraham Lincoln defended the railroad. The case was dismissed when the jury was unable to reach a verdict. The result was considered a victory for bridge builders.

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