35W Panel's Impossible Task Nears End

Star Tribune, by Jim FotiApril 12, 2009

Star Tribune, by Jim Foti

Sue Holden is chairwoman of the Special Master Panel set up by the Legislature to figure out how much money should go to each survivor of the I-35W bridge collapse.

Susan Holden and her team of lawyers have been working out a daunting math question: How much money should each survivor get from the state's 35W bridge collapse fund?

How much for Sandy and Dan Cermak, who had only bruises after their van skidded to a stop on a slanting slab of concrete? How much for Garrett Ebling, who may have years of surgeries ahead of him? How much for the families of the 13 who died?

With $36.6 million from the Legislature to compensate bridge victims, Holden and two fellow lawyers on the state's compensation panel are nearly done with the impossible task of placing a dollar value on suffering. Survivors have until Thursday to accept or reject the state's offers -- which range from a low of about $5,000 to more than $2 million.

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