One of the most horrific construction fails in recent memory involved the collapse of the Florida International University Bridge on March 15, 2018. A total of six people was killed and eight more were injured.
The construction company responsible, Magnum Construction Management, filed for bankruptcy earlier in the year but continued negotiations with the various insurance companies involved. The construction company and the insurers have agreed to a $42 million settlement that — if approved by the bankruptcy court — would go to compensate the injury victims and the family members of the deceased for their losses.
While the investigation continues into the exact reason the bridge collapsed when it did, a preliminary report issued in November stated that there were flaws in the bridge’s design. In particular, the design didn’t correctly estimate the strength of the bridge at a critical section. Cracks were documented in the bridge itself weeks before the actual collapse. At the same time, the report did not say those errors were directly responsible for the bridge collapse, and the construction company was not responsible for the bridge’s actual design.
This is just one step in the long process that litigants will have to endure before the full case is settled. Like most construction cases that result in tragedy, there are a number of individual defendants involved — at least 20 aside from the company that agreed to settle. This will, however, give the plaintiffs in the case access to much-needed funds to help with their needs.
Some construction failures are just inconvenient — while others are serious threats to the safety of anyone near the structure. If you or your loved one suffered an injury due to a construction error, find out more about your legal options as soon as practical.