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Hyatt skywalk memorial effort receives another donation

A Kansas City law firm that was active in the plaintiffs’ litigation following the Hyatt skywalks disaster is contributing $20,000 to a foundation seeking to build a memorial.

Today is the 32nd anniversary of the July 17, 1981, disaster in which skywalks fell in the lobby of the Hyatt Regency hotel, killing 114 people and injuring more than 200 others.

The latest donation is from Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman. Attorneys John E. Shamberg and Lynn R. Johnson were part of a plaintiffs’ committee, and Johnson was one of four attorneys appointed as counsel for a class action on behalf of victims of the disaster.

A memorial is planned on a site in Hospital Hill Park at 22nd Street and Gillham Road. The effort began in 2006. Late last year, organizers said they had redesigned the concept to reduce the cost to about $335,000. They still need to raise about $195,000 to cover construction and an endowment, said Brent Wright, president of the Skywalk Memorial Foundation and the son of a woman who died in the disaster.

Johnson said the memorial is important for everyone who was touched by the disaster, including the injured, the families and the rescuers.

“We hope that by our firm making a contribution that other lawyers and law firms that were involved will step forward and make contributions so this dream of a memorial can finally be realized and be built,” Johnson said.

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