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Saturday, August 4, 2007

Many suits will be built on bridge collapse

The Star Tribune has an interesting story today on the liability questions and potential lawsuits arising out of the collapse of the 35W bridge. (See "Question of liability rises.")

Given the limitations on state and municipal liability and the fact that the bridge was constructed 40 years ago, attorneys pursuing liability claims will likely have to focus on the private entities involved in the bridge's maintenance, the article correctly points out.

And there will, of course, also be a bevy of legal issues relating to insurance coverage that will crop up.

The most disturbing part of the article was an interview with Omar Jamal of the Somali Justice Advocacy Center. Once it became clear that a pregnant Somali woman and her 2-year-old daughter were among the victims, calls from attorneys looking for her family's contact info have not stopped, Jamal said. He reported at least a dozen in the article, starting within 24 hours of the collapse..

"This is the worst form of ambulance-chasing," Jamal told the Star Tribune. "The divers are still in the river looking, and the attorneys keep calling us."

It is unfortunate to hear that is going on. It plays into the worst stereotypes about personal injury lawyers.

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