Today the law firm of Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben representing several families of persons who died in the I35 bridge collapse, and numerous injured victims, filed a lawsuit against Mn/DOT in an attempt to force it to release documents relating to the I35 bridge collapse.
Attorney Jim Schwebel stated that while Mn/DOT has made available many documents on its website it has withheld critical inspection reports conducted by the private engineering firm of Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. which it hired under a two million dollar contract to determine the cause of the collapse. This private engineering firm has had wide access to the bridge site while lawyers representing collapse victims and their families have had to go to court to receive only limited access. It is unconscionable that this vital information accumulated at taxpayers’ expense should be kept secret from Minnesota taxpayers, and particularly from the victims who have every right to know why this disaster occurred. In addition, Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben seeks access to allow its bridge experts to inspect numerous portions of the bridge which have been reassembled at Bohemian Flats downstream from the bridge collapse site.