35W construction company files paperwork to preserve its right to sue

Bent bridge
Wreckage of the I-35W bridge in downtown Minneapolis.
MPR Photo/William Wilcoxen

The construction company working on the I-35W bridge when it collapsed has filed paperwork to preserve its right to sue the state for failing to keep its workers safe.

The company was resurfacing the bridge when it collapsed last summer.

An attorney for Progressive Contractors said the company has not decided whether to go ahead with any lawsuit.

Attorney Kyle Hart said papers were filed within 180 days of the collapse, as required by law, as a precaution that leaves the door open to bringing a case in the future.

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Hart said the company is waiting for the National Transportation Safety Board to release its report on the cause of the collapse before deciding whether to sue.

"Just like everybody else, we are waiting for the NTSB [National Transportation Safety Board] to issue their report and give access to all the critical evidence to us and our experts, so we can determine whether we agree with the report or not," Hart said.

Hart said a lawsuit, if filed, would likely argue the state breached its contract by not maintaining a safe working environment on the bridge.

It is unclear when the NTSB will release its report.