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What Is Life Worth?

Minnesota Law & Politics, by Andy SteinerNovember 03, 2008

Minnesota Law & Politics, by Andy Steiner

“Every family, every survivor was hardworking, strong. These are the kinds of people I like to represent.”

At first mention, $36.6 million sounds like a lot of money. But try dividing that sum among the 179 eligible victims of the 35W bridge collapse and the amount quickly starts to look much smaller. What price can be put on the loss of a loved one? What about minor scrapes and bruises? How much is two months in the hospital worth?

That was the daunting task that faced attorney Susan M. Holden, chair of the Special Master Panel appointed by the state legislature to administer compensation for survivors of the collapse.

“Chairing the panel was a unique opportunity for me to apply what has been my practice background for more than 20 years,” Holden says. “This was a situation where I could help people and serve the state of Minnesota.”

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