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Claims From Bridge Could Reach $1B

Claims from last week's collapse of the I-35W bridge could reach $1 billion, with private contractors and insurance companies likely to bear the brunt of any liability, legal experts tell the Star-Tribune. The state of Minnesota's liability is capped by law at $1 million, and claims against those who designed and built the bridge are probably time barred, lawyers say. "Given those limitations," the Star-Tribune reports, "attorneys likely will focus on the private entities involved in the bridge's maintenance, particularly if state and federal investigators find that private firms bear of the blame for the collapse."

While liability will take years to sort out, attorneys are wasting no time jockeying for a place in the courtroom. When news broke that a pregnant Somali woman was among the missing, a string of lawyers began calling the Somali Justice Advocacy Center in Minneapolis hoping to track down her family. The center's Omar Jamal told the Star-Tribune: "This is the worst form of ambulance chasing. The divers are still in the river looking, and the attorneys keep calling us."

As Mark Cohen comments at Minnesota Lawyer Blog, "It is unfortunate to hear that is going on. It plays into the worst stereotypes about personal injury lawyers."

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on August 7, 2007 at 05:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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