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The I-35W Bridge Collapse Case

Mr. Harens was selected by the parties and the Court to work on this case involving over 100 injured and deceased victims of the collapse, as well as the State of Minnesota, a large construction firm, and two of the largest engineering firms in the world. It involved numerous insurance carriers from around the world and  complex issues of engineering, insurance, special legislation, statutes of repose and limitations, indemnity, and trial strategies. Ultimately, the case was resolved through mediation with a total settlement sum in excess of $60 million.

River Station Condominium Case 

Mr. Harens was selected by the parties to mediate this case involving alleged defective construction of over three hundred condominium units. The claims exceeded $15 million. The final mediation sessions were conducted over a 4- day period at the new Minneapolis Central Public Library because it was one of the few local venues that could accommodate the number of interested parties. The eventual settlement involved more than 50 different contributing interests and almost 75 signators to the final settlement agreement. The case involved complex issues of fault allocation, indemnity, insurance coverage, additional insured coverage, and “time on the risk” considerations. It also involved a long standing process Mr. Harens championed in Minnesota where cases are resolved in what is known as a “blind” mediation process.

Wakota Bridge Case

Mr. Harens was selected to co-mediate this case involving a dispute over the construction of two interstate highway bridges over the Mississippi River. The dispute involved claims for over $50 million in increased costs that were incurred as a result of the interruption of construction due to claimed design errors in the bridges. The construction was suspended after the initial third of the first bridge was erected. The case involved complicated issues regarding change order procedures and procurement law, and also involved complex engineering and costing issues. The case was ultimately resolved through mediation with the final settlement value being $20 million.

Ivy Hotel Case

This case involved the construction of a hotel and condominium project with a project cost of over $75 million. The parties selected Mr. Harens to mediate a dispute that arose out of the project that included a large arbitration claim, as well as numerous lawsuits among a large number of the interested parties, including contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, condo owners, architects, sureties, insurance carriers, guarantors and indemnitors, and mortgagees. The case involved complicated issues regarding mechanics liens, delay damages, change orders, mortgage priority, suretyship and guaranty law.  The case was mediated at several sessions that spanned numerous months, and was ultimately resolved using a mediator’s proposal made by Mr. Harens on a “blind” basis, where  various parties who paid and accepted consideration for the settlement only knew their respective shares of the deal and did not know the individual payments made or received by each party to the dispute.


 “The Fundamentals of Connecting with Parties and Counsel: The Effective Use of Personality and Passion.”

 “Negotiating and Documenting Settlements in Minnesota”

 “Indemnification and Additional Insured Provisions - The Impact on the Mediation of Construction Cases”

 “A New Frontier in ADR – Blind Mediations: How Less Information Might Promote More Self Determination”

 “Dispute Resolution Contracts”

 “The Ethics of Negotiation”


“Mediation: An Opportunity for Certainty in Construction Litigation.”

“RFI’s: A Trap for the Unwary Engineer or Architect.”

“Refining the ADR Process: The Fundamentals of Connecting with Counsel and the Parties.”

“Hammering Out Results: The Settlement of Construction Disputes.”


“Creative Alternatives and Litigation: Non Standard Arbitration Clauses, Mediation and More.”


“Effective Construction Dispute Avoidance and Resolution in Minnesota.”


"Alternative Dispute Resolution: First Aid to save the Construction Job.”


“The Mediation Process and Settlement Agreement.”

“Top Ten Issues in Insurance Coverage in Minnesota”


“Resolving Wet Houses through Mediation.”

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