Deal Drops Distiller From Lawsuits

PORT CLINTON, Ohio (AP) - The remaining lawsuits from the terrace collapse at the Lonz Winery have dropped claims against Paramount Distillers Inc., the winery's former parent company.

Instead, the 19 lawsuits will seek damages from Paramount subsidiary, Mantey-Mon Ami-Lonz Wineries, which agreed not to contest its liability for the accident.

Seventy-five people were injured when a concrete patio buckled and dropped them into an empty cellar on Lake Erie's Middle Bass Island on July 1, 2000.

One person died in the accident.

Settlements have been reached in 69 other lawsuits filed in Cuyahoga, Erie and Ottawa counties.

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