Retroactive Revival Of Liability By Legislation

The US Supreme Court sometimes makes news by refusing to hear cases, not by taking them. That was certainly the case on May 29, 2012 when the Supreme Court declined to hear a case in which Minnesota’s high court upheld state legislation that made a design and engineering firm liable for a bridge collapse even though liability had previously ended under another statute.

Essentially, the State found itself on the hook to third parties for $36.6 million related to the bridge and the legislature decided to pass a new law, changing the rules and making the design and engineering firm liable, even though they were no longer liable under existing statutes.

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