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Minn. court: Design firm not free of bridge claims

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The Minnesota Court of Appeals has issued split decisions on whether a California design firm will remain a defendant in lawsuits over a 2007 bridge collapse that killed 13 people.

      One of Tuesday's decisions by a three-judge panel dismisses Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. from claims filed by engineering firm URS Corp. The judges say too much time has passed for Jacobs to have a shared liability.

      But the same panel ruled that Jacobs would remain a defendant in claims filed by the state.

      Jacobs is the successor to the now-defunct company that designed the Interstate 35W bridge in the 1960s.

      The opinions come a day after URS agreed to pay $52.4 million to settle lawsuits filed by victims. URS said it was disappointed by Tuesday's ruling.       

      (Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)