verdicts and settlements
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Date of Verdict:

Feb. 2.

Court and Case No.:

U.S. District Court, MDPA, Case No. 3:15-cv-01385

Judge:

Robert D. Mariani.

Type of Action:

Personal Injury.

Injuries:

Several bone fractures.

Plaintiffs Counsel:

Jamie Anzalone, Anzalone Law Offices, Wilkes-Barre.

Defense Counsel:

Theodore M. Schaer, Zarwin Baum Devito Kaplan Schaer & Toddy, Philadelphia.

Comment:

A trucking company has settled a lawsuit arising out of a tractor trailer’s collision with a tour bus that left three dead and several injured.

Greatwide Dedicated Transport, the owner of the truck that slammed into the tour bus, settled with tour guide Ivan Galietti for $5.25 million, according to the Feb. 2 settlement agreement. The settlement was reached after a mediation period conducted by Philadelphia-based JAMS.

The crash occurred during a bus trip to Niagara Falls on the morning of June 3, 2015. Galietti was conducting a tour for a group of Italian and French tourists as the bus headed northbound on Interstate 380.

According to Galietti’s mediation memorandum, truck driver Franklin Wyatt lost control of his vehicle as he drove southbound, crossed the highway median and collided with the driver’s side rear end of the bus. The crash killed the bus driver, two passengers, and resulted in “catastrophic injury claims by several passengers,” the memorandum said.

Galietti testified that his feet were at chest level and that he couldn’t feel his legs after the crash. He was taken by helicopter to Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center with multiple fractures and internal injuries.

Overall, with inpatient hospitalization, operations, and rehabilitation, Galietti incurred roughly $934,000 in medical bills, according to his memorandum. His lost wages were estimated at $58,000.

Galietti, a former actor, “enjoyed every tour he gave because it provided him with an opportunity to explain the history and beauty of the United States of America to Italian and French citizens visiting the Unites States,” the memorandum said. “Many of Mr. Galietti’s colleagues in the tour guide industry work well into their 70s and 80s. This is the type of job that he planned on working in until he could no longer physically move.”

The trucking company did not contest liability.

In its memorandum, Greatwide said the company “knows and understands that accidents do happen. As a further display of good faith and in an effort to amicably resolve this claim, for purposes of this mediation, defendants do not contest liability.”

Jamie Anzalone of the Anzalone Law Offices represented Galietti.

“We were thrilled with the settlement because the client we represented was a true vision of someone who put himself before others,” Anzalone said. “Mr. Galietti at the scene of the accident with his legs severely broken was acting as an interpreter at the scene of the accident for first responders.”

Theodore M. Schaer of Zarwin Baum Devito Kaplan Schaer & Toddy represented Greatwide and did not respond to a request for comment.

—P.J. D’Annunzio, of the Law Weekly •