Settlement Reached In Lonz Winery Case

CLEVELAND (AP) - The family of Mark Reighard, the only person to die when the Lonz Winery terrace collapsed last year, has settled a lawsuit against the company that owned the winery.

A jury trial was to begin Dec. 3 in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, but the family and Paramount Distillers settled the case Tuesday. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

"We were pleased we were able to reach an amicable resolution with the family of Mr. Reighard," said Kevin Young, Paramount's attorney.

At least 75 people were hurt when the concrete patio collapsed July 1, 2000. Reighard, 29, of Columbus suffered brain injuries in the collapse and was pronounced dead at the winery on Middle Bass Island.

The company was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing. About 40 civil cases are pending in Cuyahoga, Erie and Ottawa counties.

Reighard's attorneys said in court records that the company failed to inspect and maintain the deck.

At the time of the accident, the state was in the process of buying the winery and a 124-acre site on the island. The property is being developed into a state park.

(Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)