35W Bridge Collapse

On August 1, 2007, the landscape of Minneapolis and the lives of many individuals and their families changed forever when the 35W bridge over the Mississippi River suddenly collapsed during the evening rush hour, killing 13 and injuring 145.

Minnesota Catastrophic Injury Attorneys for the 35W Bridge Collapse

A consortium of 23 law firms, including Harper & Peterson, P.L.L.C., represented the victims of the bridge collapse on a pro bono basis. Our firm handled a number of the bridge cases.

On May 8, 2008, after the consortium attorneys and their clients had testified at many House and Senate hearings, the governor signed a bill providing $38 million in initial compensation to survivors and those who had lost loved ones in the bridge collapse.

The consortium then proceeded with lawsuits against URS Corp., the engineering firm that had contracted with the state of Minnesota to inspect the bridge, and construction company Progressive Contractors, Inc. (PCI), which was resurfacing the bridge when it collapsed. The plaintiffs alleged that URS Corp. failed to detect warning signs that a collapse was likely to occur.

On October 28, 2009, PCI settled the claims against it for a confidential amount. On August 14, 2010, the remaining case against URS settled for $52.4 million, which included $1.5 million to build and maintain the Remembrance Garden Memorial.

The Remembrance Garden Memorial

The memorial, which was dedicated on August 1, 2011, to mark the four-year anniversary of the bridge collapse, is located across from Gold Medal Park near the new bridge. The monument features 13 black steel pillars, each 10.5-feet tall, with glass panel fronts, each etched with the name of a person who died when the bridge plummeted into the Mississippi River and a message from his/her family. The panels are illuminated by blue LED lighting at night. The memorial also includes a stone water wall inscribed with the names of everyone who survived the bridge collapse and a path leading from the wall to an observation deck on the bluff overlooking the river and the new I-35W bridge.

The inscription on the memorial reads:

"Our lives are not only defined by what happens, but also by how we act in the face of it, not only by what life brings us, but also by what we bring to life. Selfless actions and compassion create enduring community out of tragic events."

Contact Harper & Peterson, P.L.L.C.

We provide a confidential, cost-free consultation to every client. To arrange a private meeting with an experienced St. Paul, Minnesota, lawyer to discuss a catastrophic injury, contact our office online or call us 24/7 at 651-738-8539 (toll free at 1-800-779-1466).