Millions for Bridge Collapse, Zero for Levee Failure
The state of Minnesota will put up $38 million to divide among 158 victims as compensation for losses sustained in last year's collapse of a bridge under Interstate 35 in Minneapolis. Thirteen were killed in the accident, which was the result of structural defects.
To claim part of the award, approved by both houses of the Minnesota state assembly, the victims, many of them now pursuing civil lawsuits for negligence, will have to release the state from legal liability. The total comes out to about a quarter-million dollars per person, but a third of the money will be used to sustain victims with severe permanent injuries. Victims of the 9/11 attacks made a somewhat more lucrative settlement of potential claims against the federal government and the airlines.
Law buffs might reasonably wonder why victims of the levee collapse in New Orleans aren't entitled to similar relief.
The Levees were the responsibility of the US Army Corp of Engineers.
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By CAIN BURDEAU Associated Press Writer
NEW ORLEANS May 2, 2008 (AP)