APNewsBreak: Minn. settles last 35W bridge case

Nov 14, 2012, 12:24 AM

Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota’s five-year legal battle over the collapsed Interstate 35W bridge has ended with an $8.9 million settlement involving a California design firm, which paid its final installment on Tuesday.

Chris Joyce, a Minnesota Department of Transportation spokeswoman, said the settlement is a final chapter in the 35W legal saga.

“It ends all litigation dealing with the collapse of the 35W bridge,” Joyce said.

The deal was struck in October, but wasn’t publicized. The Associated Press learned of the settlement through a disclosure of pending cases the state makes ahead of bond sales.

Thirteen people died and 145 more were injured when the highway bridge buckled and fell into the Mississippi River during an August rush-hour.

A Minneapolis attorney who represented Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. referred calls for comment to a company executive. The executive didn’t immediately return a phone call or email. As part of the settlement, Jacobs admitted no wrongdoing but said it was done to head off continued legal expense and protracted litigation.

Jacobs had earlier pushed to have the case dismissed. It argued that state law put a 10-year limit on liability and noted the state had a 1962 contract with the bridge’s designer, a now-defunct company that Jacobs acquired in 1999. But state courts let the lawsuit proceed; the U.S. Supreme Court turned down the company’s final appeal in May. The settlement money will go into the state’s general fund.

Like others, the latest settlement helped reimburse Minnesota taxpayers for the I-35W Survivor Compensation Fund, said Democratic Rep. Ryan Winkler, who helped establish the fund for collapse victims who agreed not to sue the state.

“We can never change what happened on that terrible day, but fortunately we were able to come together and ensure that the survivors were given help to try to somehow rebuild their lives,” Winkler said in a statement.

Federal investigators determined an original design flaw was a key factor that doomed the bridge.

After the collapse, the state also sued URS Corp., an engineering company that was evaluating the bridge before it fell. The sides settled that case for $5 million settlement to avert a trial, which could have opened URS to punitive damages. Neither side admitted any liability or fault.

Separate from its state payment, URS settled lawsuits brought by survivors and the families of those killed for more than $52 million. The state also set up a special $36.6 million compensation fund for those impacted.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

An aerial view of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate is seen Wednesday, Aug. 10, 202...
Associated Press

Feds oppose unsealing affidavit for Mar-a-Lago warrant

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department on Monday rebuffed efforts to make public the affidavit supporting the search warrant for former President Donald Trump’s estate in Florida, saying the investigation “implicates highly classified material” and the document contains sensitive information about witnesses. The government’s opposition came in response to court filings by several news organizations, […]
18 hours ago
Associated Press

Illegal border crossings fall in July but remain high

WASHINGTON (AP) — Migrants were stopped fewer times at the U.S. border with Mexico in July than in June, authorities said Monday, a second straight monthly decline. Flows were still unusually high, particularly among nationalities less affected by Title 42, a pandemic-era rule that denies migrants legal rights to seek asylum on grounds of preventing […]
18 hours ago
FILE - Law enforcement personnel escort the Trump Organization's former Chief Financial Officer All...
Associated Press

Trump Org. CFO expected to plead guilty in NY tax case

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump’s longtime finance chief is expected to plead guilty as soon as Thursday in a tax evasion case that is the only criminal prosecution to arise from a long-running investigation into the former president’s company, three people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg […]
18 hours ago
Associated Press

Cops: Suspects in attack on elderly woman are ages 11 to 18

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Three children ages 11, 13, and 14 and an 18-year-old beat and robbed a 70-year-old Asian woman last month inside her San Francisco apartment building and two of them have been arrested, police said Monday. The woman was outside her Chinatown building when the suspects approached her on July 31 and […]
18 hours ago
Associated Press

Case against Alex Jones can proceed, Connecticut judge says

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — A federal bankruptcy judge on Monday cleared the way for a defamation lawsuit in Connecticut to proceed against Infowars host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. The case was filed by relatives of some victims of the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Jones has falsely claimed the […]
18 hours ago
FILE - Farmer John Hawk looks over his land as his seed onion fields are watered in Holtville, Cali...
Associated Press

Deadline looms for western states to cut Colorado River use

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Banks along parts of the Colorado River where water once streamed are now just caked mud and rock as climate change makes the Western U.S. hotter and drier. More than two decades of drought have done little to deter the region from diverting more water than flows through it, depleting […]
18 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
APNewsBreak: Minn. settles last 35W bridge case