MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The family of a Florida International University student who died when a pedestrian bridge collapsed nearly three weeks ago has filed a lawsuit naming nine entities responsible for it design and construction.
Alexa Duran, 18, was just one of six people who died when the bridge collapsed on SW 8th Street. Duran, a freshman, was majoring in political science and looking forward to law school one day.
Her family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Miami-based MCM construction, FIGG Engineering and seven other subcontractors associated with the project.
“I cannot begin to describe the pain that brings to me to talk about my daughter because beyond my daughter, my little girl, she was a friend to me. She always looked out for me, she always helped me, she always, she would stick with me at all times. And that I don’t have anymore,” said Alexa’s father Orlando.
“She was so funny and had a big heart, she used to take care of me, she worked for me, went to school, now I don’t have her,” said Alexa’s mother Gina.
The Duran family attorney, Alan Goldfarb, said the companies were negligent and reckless and failed to protect Alexa and the other victims.
Duran was driving her best friend Richard Humble back from a medical appoint when the bridge collapsed on top of her car.
Humble was able to get out but not able to get Duran out.
“I heard it first and I looked up, and it was awful because I saw the bridge just coming down on top of us,” Humble said at a Monday afternoon news conference with his attorney where they announced their own lawsuit.
Humble said he called out his friend’s name, over and over.
“I looked back at Alexa a couple of times and she wasn’t saying anything, I had her blood on me. I really didn’t know what to do. She just wasn’t moving,“ Humble said.
Humble suffered neck and other injuries. His lawsuit names seven companies involved in the design and construction of the bridge. It focuses on the alleged negligence of the companies who knew of cracks in the bridge but didn’t not close busy 8th Street as they tightened steel rods on the cracked end.
After a waiting period required by law, Humble’s attorney Stuart Grossman said after a waiting period required by law, they intend to add FIU and the Florida Department of Transportation to their in the lawsuit.
Grossman questioned why FIU gave MCM the contract to oversee the building of the bridge, claiming the firm had no experience in that kind of bridge work.
Shortly after the release of CBS4’s report, MCM released the following statement:
“We are all anxious to see the results of the NTSB’s investigation into this tragic accident. We also wanted to clarify what was said by the attorney at today’s press conference. MCM and its design-build team have extensive experience building post tension bridges and MCM is pre-qualified by the FDOT for major post tension bridge construction.”