Family reaches first settlement in Big Dig tunnel collapse case

Supplier Powers Fasteners offers $6 million to resolve claims against it

January 04, 2008

The three children (Raquel, Caled and Jeremy Mora) and widower (Angel Del Valle) of Milena Del Valle have reached a settlement with the New York supplier of epoxy anchor bolts for the I-90 Connector Tunnel ceiling that collapsed on July 10, 2006. The collapse crushed the Del Valles’ car as they were en route to Logan Airport to pick up relatives, killing Milena and injuring her husband. In confidential negotiations held over the month of December, the supplier, Powers Fasteners, offered $6 million to resolve the family’s claims against it. It is the first settlement in the case filed in August 2006 against a consortium of 16 companies, including the construction manager Bechtel/Parsons Brinkerhoff, contractor Modern Continental, designer Gannett Fleming, the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority and others.

“We are grateful that the Powers family company has done the right thing,” said Milena’s daughter, Raquel Ibarra Mora, and Milena’s widower, Angel Del Valle, in a joint statement. “Powers respected our family by answering our questions, giving us a Mass card in memory of Milena and settling the case. We hope that Bechtel and the other companies now show the same strength of character. We especially want to thank Attorney General Martha Coakley for her dedication to the rights of the public, including our family, in this important public matter. We feel that the Powers family, like ours, has suffered enough.”

Commenting on the announcement that Powers was the first of the defendants to settle claims brought by Milena Del Valle’s family, Powers president Jeffrey Powers said as follows:

“We know that the tragedy of the accident that took the life of Milena Del Valle is a nightmare that will never go away for those who knew and loved her.

We too are a family—and together with our family of employees, we are forever changed by events of July 10, 2006. Mrs. Del Valle could just as easily have been the wife, mother, sister, aunt or friend of any of us.

We hope that the settlement agreement we have reached will finally allow the healing process to begin. We also hope that this will lead others who, unlike Powers, truly were responsible for the accident, to do the same.”

Attorneys for the family note that the case continues against all of the other defendants as deposition testimony enters its sixth month.