New Information Released On FIU Bridge Collapse & Culpability
We’ve previously discussed the tragedy that occurred with the Florida International University bridge collapse that dominated news headlines in the spring of this year: Emergency crews recovered the bodies of six victims that were killed after the bridge broke into pieces and came crashing down on the cars stopped underneath it, leaving a number of families waiting for days to hear news of what happened to their loved ones.
In late October, more information concerning the cause of the collapse and who, exactly, was potentially responsible, became public. Specifically, the governor’s administration had indicated that its role in the collapse was limited to issuing traffic permits and simply acting as a “pass-through” for federal funding. It had also indicated that the voice message indicating that there were cracks in the bridge, as left by an engineer for a state Department of Transportation employee, was missed because that employee was out of the office on assignment. As we discuss below, some of this information has been contradicted.
State Lies About Access To Warning Message?
Reportedly, that employee was actually in the office when the “warning” voice message was left. In addition, two years prior to the collapse, the same engineer who left the voice message expressed concerns, in writing, to the bridge’s design team, indicating that the design itself opened the bridge up to potential accidents. In addition, shortly after the accident, University officials evidently exchanged messages between each other indicating that the Florida Department of Transportation was providing the public with misinformation.
State Points to University Design-Build Team
All of this information strongly suggests that the state played a far more significant role in the collapse than it has acknowledged. The state continues to maintain that the voice message was irrelevant, given that the design-build team was directly responsible for safety issues associated with the project, including closing the roads underneath it if necessary. Governor Scott has continued to state that he believes the responsibility lies with the university.
What about Federal Agencies & Justice?
As the public waits for a number of public records associated with the accident to be released, others are calling upon the National Transportation Safety Board to become more involved in ensuring that there is transparency associated with what happened with the incident and the communications surrounding it, both before and after it occurred.
Florida Attorneys Representing Victims’ Families
In this case, the victims’ families have a right to know what steps were taken, and which ones were skipped, when it comes to ensuring that the bridge was safely constructed. If you or a loved one suffered as a result of this bridge collapse or any other that clearly involved negligence, contact our experienced Florida personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at Lavalle, Brown & Ronan today to find out how we can help.