Tort Law

First Legal Action in Bridge Collapse


The first litigation has reportedly been filed in the Minneapolis bridge collapse case, by a law firm seeking access in order to investigate before the site is cleaned up.

It was filed Monday in federal court because the firm, Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben of Minneapolis, has been told that federal agencies are in charge of the bridge site, reports the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (reg. req.).

Nine people are confirmed dead and four are still missing following the Aug. 1 collapse of the Interstate 35 West bridge, reports the Associated Press. Some 100 people were injured.

Liability on the part of state government agencies is expected to be limited to $1 million (this sovereign immunity issue was also discussed in an earlier ABAJournal.com post). However, liability on the part of private contractors involved in constructing or designing the bridge could total $1 billion, one unnamed lawyer told the newspaper.

Speculation so far about the cause of the collapse has focused primarily on possibly defective components called gusset plates, as discussed in another ABAJournal.com post.

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