On August 1, 2007, the eight-lane Minnesota bridge known as Bridge 9340 crumpled and fell into the Mississippi river during the evening rush hour. Vehicles and construction equipment fell into the water, and some vehicles, including a school bus, clung precariously to the slanted bridge roadway.
It took nearly three weeks for divers to recover the bodies of the thirteen people who died. About 145 people were injured, and some are still having surgeries done. The National Transportation Safety Board has been investigating what caused this disaster, and focusing on a design flaw.
On April 25, 2008, Minnesota state lawmakers announced that they had reached a compromise agreement for compensating the injured victims. It’s expected to be signed by the governor, and it provides relief and support for victims and their families.
Negotiations had somewhat bogged down over the issue of whether to recognize the state’s limit of liability by capping awards made to individual victims. It appears that has been recognized, as victims may receive up to $400,000 each. However, there is still $12.6 million available for ongoing medical costs, uncompensated medical expenses, and lost wages.
Part of the agreement is that victims and their families would have to agree not to sue the state of Minnesota if they accept the settlement amounts of this compromise.
If you have been injured or have lost a loved one because of somebody else’s negligence, you may have a valid legal claim. Please call or email us if you would like to schedule a free consultation.