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Companies aim to dismiss part of Minn. bridge suit

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Wreckage of the collapsed bridge
A U.S. Coast Guard photograph of the wreckage of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis.
Courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard

(AP) - The engineering firm and the construction company that worked on the Interstate 35W bridge before it collapsed are asking a judge to dismiss parts of four lawsuits from victims.

      URS Corp. of San Francisco says bridge victims don't have standing to sue for breach of contract.

      Progressive Contractors Inc. of St. Michael, Minn., joined URS in seeking to have that part of the lawsuits dismissed.

      The companies say the case should be tried on the issue of negligence alone.

      URS is denying that it breached contracts with the Minnesota Department of Transportation or that it was negligent. Its filing says that URS is not responsible for the Aug. 1, 2007 bridge collapse that killed 13 and injured 145.

      Progressive Contractors says its contract with the state transportation agency does not allow members of the public - including bridge collapse victims - to sue.

      The paperwork filed with the Hennepin County District Court responds to lawsuits on behalf of four bridge victims - three who suffered injuries and the family of a truck driver who was killed.

             (Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)