When I read this, the first thing that came to my mind was this could absolutely happen on any California’s freeway, with the amount of new construction we have going on here all the time. The news is that settlement talks are about to begin in Boston between the family of a motorist killed about a year ago by failing panels in the Big Dig, Boston’s central artery and tunnel project, and attorneys for the companies that designed and built the project. The sticker price for the construction project was$14.7 billion, the costliest project in the history of this country.
According to an article in the Boston Globe a wrongful death lawsuit was brought by the family of Milena Del Valle, a 39-year-old woman who was killed July 10, 2006, when several concrete ceiling panels fell from the Interstate 90 connector tunnel as she and her husband drove toward Boston’s Logan Airport. The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, names the Turnpike Authority and companies connected with the design and construction of the project.
Inspectors who checked out the tunnel after the accident believe that the bolts that were holding the ceiling panels in place came loose because of failures in the epoxy resin that is meant to glue them in place, the article said. After the accident, repairs were made throughout that tunnel system and concrete panels were supported with more bolts and brackets. Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has said she will decide by the end of this month if her office will pursue criminal charges against the companies named in the wrongful death lawsuit.
In my opinion the state should pursue criminal charges in this case. The parties that built the defective tunnel at such large costs to taxpayers must be held accountable for their poor and faulty construction that took the life of this unsuspecting commuter.
Here in California, it’s not a matter of if, but when. We see Caltrans contractors working on our freeways continually, on roadways, bridges and overpasses. But we never know the nature and extent of the quality of their work until we read a report like this in the newspaper, until someone else pays the price for the negligence and incompetence of designers and builders we trust our lives and our taxpayer dollars to.
The last two cases we pursued against CalTrans freeway construction contractors resulted in over $3 Million in recoveries from the CalTrans construction contractors. If you have been a victim of someone else’s negligence, please call me, John Bisnar of Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys for your free consultation. You have the right to hold the negligent party responsible for your injuries. 1-800-259-6373.