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Truck bridge-980
Dan and Sally Sligh were traveling in the Dodge Ram pickup pictured here when the Skagit River Bridge collapsed. How much do you think they should be awarded because this happened to them? (AP Photo/file)

How much compensation should victims in Skagit River Bridge collapse get?

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Taken from The Dori Monson Show.

This week marks the one-year anniversary of the Skagit Bridge collapse and one of the victims of that collapse gave an interview that I'm not crazy about.

Dan Sligh and his wife Sally were in a truck when the Skagit River Bridge collapsed. They crashed down into the river. Dan's shoulder dislocated and he popped it back in and he and his wife waited to be rescued.

I'm sure it was a horribly traumatic experience. But I saw an interview with him on the one-year anniversary from KOMO. He talked about how that accident doesn't seem like it's a year ago.

"It literally seems like it was yesterday, the approach to the bridge, Sally and I chattering back and forth at each other that it looks like the truck's load was too big to get across."

He remembered going down into the river.

"I remember the fall, putting my arm on my wife's chest and saying, 'Here we go.'"

I have no question that that was horrible, but he says he and his wife now have anxiety before they cross a bridge.

"Hard to breathe, that's probably the biggest one," Sligh said, "especially getting toward bridges."

His wife has the same anxiety.

"Eyes clenched, heavy breathing, talking out loud to herself, 'We're almost there. We're almost there. Let me get past this.'"

He says that it was one of the worst days of their lives and he does blame not just the trucking company that hit the bridge, but the state as well. KOMO also talked to his lawyer.

"The state really didn't have any specific safety systems in place to make sure that that did not happen," Sligh's lawyer said, which gives us an insight to why they're talking.

Dan Sligh went on to say another thing that struck me as odd. They live over in Oak Harbor. So anytime they have to come into Seattle, you would think they'd have to cross that bridge, but he said no, they will never cross that bridge again.

"The bridge that we went down in, I will never cross that bridge again, impossible," said Sligh.

The reason they gave this interview, I have no doubt, is because they are laying the groundwork for a big lawsuit, and in fact, there's a page on their lawyer's website that has a Q & A with Dan Sligh talking about what his life has been like since this Skagit River Bridge collapse.

He says: "Sally and I are both suffering, physically and emotionally, from what happened that day on the Skagit River." They said they were injured and still receiving treatment for some of their injuries. Sally was hospitalized after the accident. The injuries were not as minor as he would have hoped. He also said they have anxiety crossing any bridge.

Plunging down into the river must have been horrible, but what is that worth?

I think they should get obviously all actual costs and damages, what they lost from their vehicle, if they lost anything being out of work, all of their medical expenses now and forever. But with the anxiety thing, I think they're laying the groundwork for emotional suffering and all of that.

They may be entitled to something, but aside from the actual damages, speaking of what they should get for emotional trauma and suffering, I say it should be about $50,000.

I think most lawsuits are insane and I think they're bogus. We have become so wimpy. We reward fragile and we punish strength in our society.

Somebody who has a similar accident who says, yeah that sucked and I'd like a little bit for that, but I'm coping with it, and I'm dealing with it, and I'm fine, I'm OK, they're the ones who get nothing. And the ones who have either real or imagined anxiety, that's what gets rewarded with multiple millions of dollars.

I acknowledge they deserve something, but I bet their lawyer is going to go for millions, and I think it's crazy.

Taken from Wednesday's edition of The Dori Monson Show.

JS

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