· MassCops Angel
CLOSURE: The family of Milena Del Valle, shown below with her husband, Angel, has reached a $28 million settlement in the Big Dig tunnel collapse that killed her in July 2006.
The family of Milena Del Valle, killed when a Big Dig tunnel ceiling panel collapsed on her car, has reached a $28.09 million settlement with 15 parties named in their wrongful death lawsuit.
"When we started this case on behalf of (Milena's husband) Angel Del Valle, we did it with the notion that what we really wanted to do was to find out what happened and get some answers," said family lawyer Jeffrey Denner. "I believe he's gotten the answers he wanted and the closure he wanted."
The settlement was announced last night by attorneys for the husband and three adult children of Milena Del Valle, who was killed on July 10, 2006, when improperly epoxied bolts gave way, dropping a section of concrete-and-steel tunnel ceiling on her car as she and her husband drove to Logan International Airport.
Of the nearly $30 million dollars, Bechtel/Parsons Brinkerhoff and Modern Continental will pay the the largest share of the settlement, with a combined $15.4 million owed to Del Valle. Powers Fasteners, which manufactured the epoxy used to glue the support bolts for the multi-ton plates, had previously announced it would pay $6 million. Gannet Flemming Inc. and other companies will share the millions remaining.
Del Valle could not immediately be reached for comment last night. Denner said the widower is a devout Christian who will use the money to establish a charity in his wife's name.
Del Valle's death added needless tragedy to the billions of dollars in added costs and hundreds of millions in unwarranted charges and repair costs that had already made the $14 billion-plus project a national poster-child for government mismanagement, and a massive burden on state and federal taxpayers and commuters.
The main defendants in the lawsuit included companies that worked on the Big Dig and the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority, which was in charge of the massive highway project.
Brad Henry, another attorney for Del Valle's children, said the settlement resolves claims against all defendants named in the wrongful death lawsuit. It includes $6 million paid by Powers Fasteners Inc., which was announced in December.