When the 35W Bridge fell into the Mississippi River on August 1st many lives were changed forever. Around 100 people were injured and 13 people were killed during the Minneapolis bridge collapse. Now they are fighting a state cap on liability that limits damages to $300,000 per person and $1 Million overall for the tragedy. The House State Government Finance Committee will be hearing testimony from victims this week.
The committee is exploring whether to establish a 9/11-style disaster fund. In an e-mail, a representative of Gov. Tim Pawlenty signaled that the governor may support such a fund.
“At the governor’s direction, our office is currently talking to legislators about addressing the needs of victims, including a possible special victims’ fund, which may be appropriate in this case,” spokesman Brian McClung wrote. “We feel it’s important to have a bipartisan consensus in this regard and the governor believes the state should help survivors of the bridge collapse.”
Others in the government are looking to remove the cap in order to help victims and their families pay medical bills and recover lost wages. Many of the victim’s bills far exceed the state liability cap.