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Murray & Roberts faces possible law suit over M1 bridge collapse

By Staff Writer
Following the tragic collapse of the M1 highway support structure that led to the death of two and the serious injury of 23, amongst other companies in charge, Murray & Roberts, could now face a possible civil law suit.

In a press release the company put out on Friday they highlighted that investigations into the reason for the collapse were still ongoing. “There are a number of investigations underway to determine the cause or causes of the collapse of the bridge support structure. At this point, we are unable to comment on how long the investigations will take and when they will conclude and we once again appeal to the public to await the outcome.  We are as concerned as everyone to understand what happened, and commit to sharing information as soon as the investigation is complete.”

The onus would reportedly be on the victims of Wednesday’s tragedy to initiate a civil claim against Murray & Roberts, lawyers have said.  

“The company is contacting and assisting the families of those affected,” said Murray & Roberts.

According to a report, Leon Malan of Malan & Mohale Attorneys stated: “If the 23 injured victims and the relatives of the two people who died decided to sue, they would have to ­ensure they had proof of what caused the ­collapse.” 

“Asked who may be held liable for the tragic collapse, Malan said: “It depends – one would first have to see what caused the bridge to collapse and there would be a proper investigation. It could be established that there was another contractor hired to erect the bridge and all of those companies could be named in a lawsuit. But you’ll most likely find all parties might become defendants in a lawsuit.”

Murray and Roberts are also not the only parties that are currently investigating this matter, as they highlighted in a release last week, informing the public about their probe into the matter and adding:“This is in addition to other investigations that have been initiated by the Department of Labour, the City of Johannesburg, the SAPS (South African Police Service), and other parties, with which Murray & Roberts is closely cooperating. The investigations will include analysis and research conducted by technical, engineering, legal and forensic specialists. “

The Department of Labour added that they aim to have their report issued by next week.

The tragedy has also subsequently affected the company’s share market, as reports state “Murray & Roberts' share price has lost 12.5% of its value since last Wednesday when the tragedy happened. The share price closed down 3.69% at R10.69 on Friday from an opening of R12.03 last Wednesday.”
 

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