I-35W Collapse settled with $8.9 million

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By Sarah Barchus

Minnesota received the final check from a California design firm Tuesday, ending the legal battle surrounding the collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge, KARE 11 reported.

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. paid the last installment in an $8.9 million settlement, which Minnesota Department of Transportation spokeswoman said "ends all litigation dealing with the collapse of the 35W bridge," the Pioneer Press reported.

The settlement was reached in October but the information was not made public, KARE 11 reported.

The I-35W bridge collapsed in August during rush hour, killing 13 people and injuring 145 more, the Pioneer Press reported.

Jacobs wanted the case dismissed due to a 10-year liability limit. The state's contract with the now defunct builder that Jacobs acquired in 1999 was from 1962, the Pioneer Press reported.

The Supreme Court denied Jacob's appeal in May. Jacobs said it agreed to the settlement to prevent continued legal expenses and protracted litigation, but did not admit any wrongdoing, KARE 11 reported.

The settlement money was put into the state's general fund and helped reimburse Minnesota taxpayers for the I-35W Survivor Compensation Fund, Democratic Rep. Ryan Winkler said. Winkler helped establish the fund for victims from the bridge collapse who agreed not to sue the state, the Pioneer Press reported.

"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, the Pioneer Press reported.

Minnesota also reached a $5 million settlement with URS Corp., the engineering company that evaluated the bridge before its collapse, the Pioneer Press reported. Survivors and families of victims sued URS for $52 million.

The state tried to help those affected by the collapse through a $36.3 million compensation fund, the Pioneer Press reported.

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