$1.7 MILLION AWARDED TO FOUR HURT IN CRASH
Buffalo, NY-The Buffalo News reported that a Buffalo jury ordered a Wyoming County dairy farmer's insurer to pay more than $1.7 million to three young girls and an adult injured when a farm tractor slammed into their flatbed truck seven years ago.
Following a three-week negligence trial, the jury of three women and three men deliberated about 21/2 hours before ruling for James P. Beeley, his daughters Lauren and Lynn, and their cousin, Lisa Cegielski.
Lauren Beeley, now 8, was awarded $1.1 million as a result of the crash at the intersection of Route 20A and Sylor Road in Varysburg on Sept. 30, 1995. She was left with limited movement in her neck and continuing neck and head pains, and faces the possibility of early degenerative arthritis, her lawyer said.
Three other occupants in the truck suffered lesser injuries. Lauren's father, now 36, who was driving the pickup, was awarded $250,000. Lynn Beeley, now 9, was awarded $75,000, and Lisa Cegielski, now 18, was awarded $285,000. Lisa's sister Erin, now 14, also was in the pickup but was not hurt.
The driver of the farm tractor, Volney Spencer, now 75, contended during the trial that his brakes failed on the steep Sylor Road because of negligence on the part of a Java farm supply company that had serviced the vehicle.
The jury rejected his claim and found him 100 percent liable for the accident.
The victims' attorneys - Joy Ellen Miserendino, Samuel R. Miserendino Jr., Gerald A. Strauss and Thomas S. Lane - said Beeley was heading east on Route 20A toward Warsaw when Spencer, driving his tractor north on Sylor, slammed into the truck.