The afternoon of Thursday, March 15, saw the tragic collapse of the newly installed pedestrian bridge at FIU. The bridge spanned seven lanes of traffic on Calle Ocho and was installed this past Saturday in an effort to provide pedestrians a safe way to cross the massive intersection. The bridge’s construction was spurred by the death of an FIU student, who was killed crossing the intersection. Unfortunately, there are now even more fatalities to contend with because of this horrific accident. With at least 6 dead, the possibility of more trapped under the bridge and still unreachable, and others still in critical condition at the hospital, many are being questioned for their fault in this event.
Built by Figg Bridge Design and MCM Construction with funding from the US Department of Transit, this bridge was meant to withstand hurricane force winds. Now, investigators from numerous organizations are asking what went wrong and why. The parties under investigation already, or likely to be, are Figg, MCM, and FIU. Other parties may soon be on the questioning list as more is discovered about the collapse. Some information has already been released regarding those three entities.
This is Figg Bridge Design’s second bridge collapse. The first occurred in Virginia while the bridge was still under construction due to an equipment failure. Though no one was injured, Figg was cited for modifying equipment without manufacturer permission and numerous safety violations. The actual bridge infrastructure was not a concern in that case. MCM was sued after a bridge failure in 2016 at the Ft. Lauderdale Hollywood Airport. The bridge was an indoor construction that workers used to get to the bathrooms. One worker suffered serious injuries when the bridge broke under his weight. Just four years before, they had also been questioned for conflict of interest concerns when Commissioner Bruno Barreiro voted for them to create a Metrorail test site. At that time, the Commissioner was renting space from the company.
FIU has not been cited for previous work, but the Florida Department of Transit (FDOT) has already denounced FIU in an effort to separate itself from liability. According to the FDOT, FIU failed to fulfill the requirements for a secondary design check. The University was supposed to have an FDOT qualified independent contractor look at the design before construction. While there was a secondary check, the individual who performed it was not qualified by the FDOT. The University is also responsible for the choice in construction groups.
Meanwhile, the operation to understand what happened at the bridge and find those injured has officially been moved from rescue to recovery. The teams are also trying not to compromise either’s efforts as they work towards their separate goals.
If you do find that you or a family member may require a seasoned Miami Personal Injury attorney for an accident or injury because of the bridge’s collapse, Aigen Injury Law, is here to assist you. We understand that in this moment, especially when there is a death or an injured individual, that litigation may not be on your mind. However, your lawyer at Aigen Injury Law will be available to guide you, protect your rights, answer all your questions, and fight to ensure that you maximize your recovery against all responsible parties.
Please do not hesitate to submit an online FREE CASE REVIEW. At Aigen Injury Law, an experienced lawyer is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week working relentlessly on behalf of victims who suffer from all types of accidents. We offer a free consultation for your personal injury case and there is no fee unless we recover for you.