Aid plan for bridge collapse victims takes shape

Kelly and Kim
Kelly Kahle and Kimberly Brown were on their way to a soccer game Aug. 1 when the I-35W bridge collapsed underneath them.
Photo courtesy of Kelly Kahle

(AP) - Legislation to help people hurt by the Interstate 35W bridge collapse would allow victims to recover economic losses, plus money for physical or emotional pain.

After months of conceptual discussions about a catastrophe survivor compensation fund, Rep. Ryan Winkler has put a plan in writing.

His bill could be the first of several on the topic for lawmakers to debate when the 2008 session opens in February.

The bill by Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley, doesn't include a specific amount of money the state would pay nor would it cap the award any victim or their survivors could receive. A person appointed to administer the fund would determine compensation levels.

People who take the money would give up their right to sue the state.

An initial hearing on the bill is set for Tuesday.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)