On Thursday, March 15, tragedy struck Miami when a brand-new pedestrian bridge collapsed on the Florida International University campus. This sudden catastrophe left students and nearby residents in shock and confusion. As the dust has settled and rescue and recovery crews have sorted through the rubble, the details have become clearer. Victims and the families of deceased victims have begun to consider their legal options.
Cause of the Collapse
Shortly after the pedestrian bridge collapsed, details emerged regarding safety concerns that engineers, construction workers, and university and government officials discussed in a meeting just before the accident.
As CNN reports, cracks were visible on the bridge, although the engineers who designed it did not feel that the cracks would compromise its structural integrity. Later that same day, the bridge would fall. Although the National Transportation Safety Board is still conducting a study to determine exactly what caused the bridge to crack in the first place, it seems clear that the cracks these engineers dismissed as normal were actually a sign of an impending catastrophe.
The Final Death Toll
After the bridge collapse, many family members and friends feared the worst, but it took some time for search crews to recover the victims’ remains from under the rubble. All told, investigators have determined that six people died after being trapped under the bridge. At least one of those six was fatally injured by the accident and later succumbed to those injuries in the hospital, while the other five were killed before they could be reached.
Lawsuits Following the Florida Bridge Collapse
In the weeks since the Florida bridge collapse, a number of family members and victims who suffered non-fatal injuries have filed lawsuits against various companies involved in building the bridge. These wrongful death or personal injury cases will focus on the negligence of those who designed and constructed the bridge, as well as those who knew that the bridge was cracked but did nothing.
On March 30, the Miami Herald reported that the family of 18-year-old Alex Duran filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the engineering and construction companies responsible for building the bridge. Duran was killed when a piece of the falling bridge hit her SUV.
Just days later, 19-year-old Richard Humble filed a personal injury suit against those behind the bridge’s construction, according to CBS Miami. Humble had been a passenger in Duran’s car but was able to escape from the vehicle. While he survived, he suffered a number of serious injuries, including one to his neck.
Connect with a Personal Injury Lawyer in South Florida
When engineers and other officials ignore safety concerns, they should be held liable for the suffering their negligence causes. At Rosen & Ohr, P.A., we have the experience and knowledge necessary to fight for the compensation that victims and their families deserve.
If you or someone you love was hurt in the Florida bridge collapse or in any other accident, contact us today for more information on how our South Florida personal injury and wrongful death attorneys can help.