Minnesota Senate Keeps Cap on Payments to Worst-hurt Bridge Victims

March 18, 2008

The Minnesota Senate has voted against lifting a state liability cap as they consider a compensation fund for victims of the Interstate 35W bridge collapse.

By a 53-9 vote, the Senate stuck with a $400,000 cap on settlements for those hurt and those who lost family members in the disaster. After the failed attempt to change the payment structure, the bill later passed unanimously.

Senator Ron Latz, the bill’s sponsor, argued that capping compensation would be the fairest to victims of other incidents.

Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller (POHG’-uh-mill-er) says there was nothing the victims could have done to prevent the bridge collapse, and the state shouldn’t let them be financially ruined through medical bills and lost wages.

A competing House version doesn’t limit awards to individuals. A conference committee will attempt to reconcile the two approaches.

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