Bridge collapse litigation nears end

  • Updated: July 29, 2012 - 8:59 PM

 

A scramble to find the cause -- and assign blame -- for the bridge collapse began soon after the catastrophe that took 13 lives and injured 145.

Now the litigation phase is winding down.

The Minnesota Legislature created a $37 million compensation fund that paid 179 people victimized by the collapse. Anyone who received money had to release the state and the city of Minneapolis from all claims.

The state went after the giant engineering firm URS Corp. of San Francisco to recover that expense, and settled for $5 million. It received another $1 million from construction company Progressive Contractors Inc., which was doing work on the bridge at the time of the collapse.

URS and Progressive paid out more in settlements with victims, including more than $50 million from URS.

The state still has an opportunity to recover damages. In May the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by California-based Jacobs Engineering Group Inc., linked to the design of the bridge. Jacobs is the successor engineering firm to Sverdrup Parcel and Associates Inc., the firm that designed the bridge in 1960.

PAT DOYLE

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