Verdicts & Settlements
$2.8 Million Settlement Reached
A $2.8 million settlement was reached Wednesday in a wrongful death action brought by the family of a 15-year-old Throop boy killed in 1985 when a tractor-trailer ran over him in full view of his parents and sister while vacationing in Connecticut. Edward Kolatis Jr., 910 Franko St., died instantly when a rig went out of control off Interstate Route 84, struck at least three cars parked at a rest stop and one of which hit him, hurling him into the air.
Edward landed on the ground in front of the truck and its right rear tandem wheels ran over him as his parents, Edward and Marie Kolatis, and sister, Mary Ellen Kolatis, helplessly looked on. Edward Marie and Mary Ellen Kolatis, administrator of the estate of Edward Jr., flied the wrongful death action against Carl Subler Trucking Inc., headquartered in Versailles, Ohio.
The trucking company owned the rig, which was operated by Gerald Matthews of Mount Healthy, Ohio.
An automobile engineer hired by the Connecticut State Police determined that faulty brakes caused the tractor-trailer to run out of control and kill the teen-ager.
Police reportedly found 9.5 grams of marijuana in the truck after the accident.
Mrs. Kolatis also was struck by the rig as it sped by at 40 mph. The rig eventually came to a stop about 165 feet from the point of impact with the first vehicle. The case was scheduled to go to trial before Chief U.S. Judge William J. Nealon on May 2. However, sources indicate that a $2.8 million settlement was reached in meetings last week between attorney Robert Munley, counsel for the Kolatis family, and attorney Edward Smith of Pittsburgh. Because of an agreement with the defendant Munley declined to confirm the size of the settlement agreement. Other sources, however, say the figure is accurate.