Tort Law

First Legal Action in Bridge Collapse

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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 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 post.

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