Shortly after lunchtime on the beautiful spring day of March 15, a bridge that was intended to be built to provide safe passage for the FIU community to and from Sweetwater collapsed, crushing several cars that were driving along busy Eighth Street. That catastrophic event changed the lives of several individuals and families who will forever be haunted by the loss of life and injuries that occurred due to the reckless conduct that led to the bridge collapse.
Families and loved ones of the victims of the FIU bridge collapse have started to file lawsuits against the firms who designed and constructed the faulty bridge. Although no amount of money can bring back a deceased loved one, wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits can often help families and victims as they grieve, and repair damages caused by the negligent acts of others.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits from Bridge Collapse
Several lawsuits have been filed in connection with the FIU bridge collapse. Most of the lawsuits filed are as a result of the injuries and deaths caused to individuals who were passing by and in the vicinity of the bridge when it collapsed. However, other lawsuits, including one filed by Panter, Panter & Sampedro, have to do with individuals who were associated with the construction of the bridge. Panter, Panter & Sampedro’s investigation has revealed that some of the contractors and engineers may have ignored signs that the bridge was at risk of failing. This reckless conduct, if proven, may provide a remedy to some of the co-workers who were injured as a result of the bridge collapse.
David Sampedro has alleged the companies were reckless in trying to rush an already delayed project, and that their decision to ignore and disregard structural damage was a reckless disregard for the health, safety, and welfare of others, including the individuals who warned the contractors and engineers that the project was virtually certain to result in the injury or death of the other workers on the bridge. In addition, the complaint alleges that various contractors failed in their responsibility to maintain safety standards when they “drastically deviated from the safe, known, and established methods of bridge design, construction, and inspection. The complaints state that at the time of the collapse, the bridge lacked any kind of redundancy in case of a major failure.
Sovereign Immunity Law in the FIU Bridge Collapse Lawsuits
As of yet none of the cases mention FIU or the Florida Department of Transportation due to a special sovereign immunity law, which means that lawyers have to give a 180-day notice before filing a suit against these entities. Some of the lawyers already involved in this case have stated that they will be seeking damages from these institutions after this time period.
Wrongful Death Suits in Florida
In the state of Florida, a wrongful death lawsuit is a tort claim that arises when another person or entity is responsible for someone else’s death when the death is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, default or breach of contract or warranty or any person.”
The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is two years, and the spouse, children, parents of the deceased, or the blood relatives or adoptive siblings who were partly or wholly dependent on the deceased may file a claim.
The death of a loved one is never easy, but if there was negligence on the part of someone else that led to the death of your loved one, you may be eligible to receive compensation for damages as a result of that death. If you believe that your loved one suffered serious injury or death due to the negligence of another, you should speak to an experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorney as soon as possible.
Survivor of FIU bridge collapse sues. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://nbcnews.com/news/us-news/fiu-student-who-barely-escaped-bridge-collapse-files-negligence-lawsuit-n861241
Harris, A. (n.d.). Newest lawsuit filed in FIU bridge collapse aftermath by family of youngest victim. Retrieved from http://miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article207518474.html
Blaskey, S. (n.d.). She came ‘within inches of her life.’ Now the driver of this crushed Honda Civic is suing. Retrieved from http://miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article206114364.html