Bridge victims’ settlement figures made public

Settlement amounts between the state of Minnesota and the 35W bridge collapse victims were made public Friday. Nearly $37 million was paid out in various allotments for the 179 settlements. The money was taken from a special victim fund established by legislators. Paula Coulter, who was in a minivan with her husband and two daughters when it flipped in midair and crashed upside-down in the wreckage of the bridge, according to the Star Tribune, received more than $2.2 million for her settlement, the largest sum given out. Coulter suffered four broken bones and almost died of a head injury. Patrick Holmes, who died while he was driving home to Bloomington, received $1.39 million, the largest settlement in a fatality. The deadline for accepting the settlements was April 16. All parties who received settlement offers took them. âÄúThey are very appreciative of the state coming forward and providing funds,âÄù attorney Jim Schwebel said of the victims. He is not representing them in the state cases. Schwebel currently has 20 different lawsuits filed on behalf of 35W victims against URS Corp., who was in charge of inspecting and maintaining the bridge, and Progressive Contractors Inc., the construction company that had more than 5,000 pounds of sand and gravel piled on the bridge the day it collapsed. Schwebel said he hopes to have a judgment on those lawsuits within 18 months. Check for more.