Lawyers Settle Lead Case Against Island Winery Owners - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Lawyers Settle Lead Case Against Island Winery Owners

PORT CLINTON, Ohio (AP) - A lawsuit representing all of the cases filed in the terrace collapse at the Lonz Winery has been settled out of court.

Details of the settlement reached last week with Mantey-Mon Ami-Lonz Wineries Inc. and its parent company Paramount Distillers Inc. were not released.

All of the settlements resulting from lawsuits against the winery owners have a confidentiality agreement and can't be publicly discussed, said attorney Steve Collier.

He represented Jean Lonsway, a Tiffin woman hurt on Lake Erie's Middle Bass Island on July 1, 2000. One person was killed and 75 were injured when a concrete patio buckled and dropped them into an empty cellar.

Lonsway's case had been selected to represent the 19 cases filed in Ottawa County Common Pleas Court at a trial scheduled to begin March 18.

She severely injured her leg and knee when she fell into the cellar and had asked for damages of at least $25,000.

It was not clear Monday whether the settlement will delay the start of the trial. Judge Richard McQuade will now have to choose a new case to represent those that remain. A message seeking comment was left with the judge.

At least 12 of the 19 lawsuits against the winery owners are still open, according to county court documents.

The family of Mark Reighard, the one person killed in the collapse, settled its lawsuit in Cuyahoga County.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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