Minneapolis I-35W Bridge Survivors and Those Who Lost Loved Ones Recover More Than $40 Million

Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. is pleased to announce that survivors and those who lost loved ones when the Minneapolis I-35W bridge collapsed have settled their cases against URS Corporation, a foreign multinational engineering corporation for more than $40 million. The families had sued URS asserting that it negligently failed to properly evaluate the bridge's structural integrity after it was hired by the State of Minnesota to provide engineering services.

Also, the attorneys recovered from URS an additional $1.5 million that they will donate for the construction of a memorial honoring those who died.

"This settlement is a much swifter resolution than facing a jury trial, and it concludes the last remaining legal obstacle. While this catastrophe changed their lives, and our state, forever, we are confident that everyone, from the state to the responsible parties, did everything possible to make it right for them," states Chris Messerly, a partner with Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P., who handled the cases pro bono.

"We wanted to do everything possible for these survivors and those who lost loved ones, who are our neighbors, our friends, our family. It has been a remarkable and life-changing event for anyone who was touched by this event. We are very pleased that those whose lives were directly impacted by this terrible bridge disaster have been compensated as fairly and with as much dignity as possible. After three long years, their legal issues can finally be put to rest," said Philip Sieff, a firm partner. Mr. Messerly and Mr. Sieff led a group of 17 law firms in Minnesota representing 103 clients.

More than 130 attorneys and staff at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. contributed more than 20,000 hours pro bono over the past three years, making this the most significant pro bono contribution in the firm's history.

Known as the "Greatest Man-Made Catastrophe in State History," the I- 35W bridge collapsed in downtown Minneapolis on August 1, 2007, killing 13 and injuring more than 150 others. The Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. attorneys had previously played a crucial role in obtaining the passage of historic legislation in which the State of Minnesota paid $37 million in May 2008. The survivors and families who lost loved ones then filed suit against the two corporations responsible for causing the collapse. In October 2009, they settled their case against the company that placed construction materials on the bridge weighing more than a 747 jet airliner.

The law firms that joined with Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P to represent the survivors and families who lost loved ones were:

Flynn Gaskins & Bennett LLP

Hallberg & McClain, P.A.

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

TSR Injury Law

Maschka, Riedy & Ries, P.L.L.P.

Sawicki & Phelps, P.A.

Fluegel Law Office

Peralta & Peralta, Ltd.

Novitzke, Gust, Sempf, Whitley & Bergmanis

Conlin Law Firm, LLC

Law Office of Logan N. Foreman

Kauffman Law Firm

Hauer, Fargione, Love, Landy & McEllistrem, P.A.

Maser & Amundson, P.A.

Goldenberg & Johnson P.L.L.C.

Eckberg, Lammers, Briggs, Wolff & Vierling