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Massachusetts Family to Receive $28 Million For Wrongful Death of Woman Killed When Big Dig Tunnel Ceiling Collapsed

The Boston widower and children of a woman that died in July 2006 when 26 tons of concrete fell from the Big Dig tunnel ceiling onto the car she was riding, will receive over $28 million for her wrongful death. The settlement resolves the family’s claim against all the defendants, including the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, Modern Continental Co., Gannett Fleming Inc., Bechtel/Parsons Brinkerhoff, Newman Associates, and Powers Fasteners. The family is represented by Denner & Pellegrino, LLP.

39-year-old Milena Del Valle was crushed by the weight of the concrete slabs that fell onto the motor vehicle she was in. Her husband Angel, who was driving the car at the time of the accident, sustained minor injuries in the tunnel ceiling collapse.

A report released by the National Transportation Board last year found that a different kind of epoxy should have been used in the tunnel’s construction. The report placed blame for the deadly collapse on designer Gannett Fleming, construction contractor Modern Continental, Big Dig project manager Bechtel/Parsons Brinkerhoff, and Powers Fastener, which provided the epoxy.

The Massachusetts Turnpike Authority has called the 2006 tunnel collapse a colossal oversight failure by previous administrations and says that now that it is in charge of the tunnel, it has finished a detailed overview of the construction project and developed an inspection plan to prevent future fatal accidents.

Since construction of the Big Dig tunnel began, the project has had experienced a number of construction problems, including failing debris and leaks. Earlier this year, Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff and 24 design companies reached a $458 million settlement agreement with the state of Massachusetts so they would not be criminally charged.

Massachusetts wrongful death cases can be complex cases to prove, and there may be more than one party liable for you death caused by another person’s negligence in a motor vehicle crash or because of a defective product.

$28M settlement reached in Big Dig death lawsuit, AP, October 2, 2008
Family to get $28m in Big Dig death, Boston.com, October 1, 2008
:Related Web Resources:

Concrete falls, and a couple’s joy is destroyed, Boston.com, July 12, 2006
The Big Dig, Massachusetts Turnpike Authority