New Kensington bar ordered to pay injured officer $644K
An Upper Burrell man has been awarded $644,000 in damages in a lawsuit against a New Kensington bar in connection with a 2011 crash that left him with serious injuries.
Ted Meixelsberger has not returned to work as a Lower Burrell police officer since the accident, attorney David Zimmaro of Pittsburgh said.
“We're very pleased … because we feel that this establishment needs to be held accountable for its actions,” Zimmaro said. “It was clearly negligence on its part.”
William Gallippi is listed in court documents as being the “official representative” of the Terrace Inn in New Kensington, which served alcohol to a New Kensington woman who later crashed into Meixelberger's patrol vehicle.
Gallippi was not represented by an attorney at an evidentiary hearing on Jan. 28. A phone number listed for the inn did not ring. A phone number listed for Gallippi in East Pittsburgh was disconnected.
Meixelsberger and his wife, Lori Meixelsberger, filed a lawsuit in January 2013 in Westmoreland County against the Terrace Inn and Jessica Blandford, 25.
Blandford served nine to 23 months in inpatient alcohol rehabilitation and the Westmoreland County Prison and has been making payments on $2,000 restitution ordered in connection with the April 18, 2011, crash, according to online court records.
Police said Blandford had been drinking at the Terrace Inn on April 17 and 18, 2011, before her vehicle crashed head-on into Meixelsberger's police sport-utility vehicle at 2:33 a.m. on Route 780 in New Kensington, about a mile from the bar. The lawsuit says Blandford “repeatedly asked the Terrace Inn (employees) to stop purchasing, serving and/or furnishing alcoholic beverages for her.”
Police said her blood-alcohol content was .177 percent, more than twice the legal limit for Pennsylvania drivers.
Meixelsberger sustained multiple leg injuries, including a tendon rupture, a kneecap fracture and loss of strength and range of motion.
A default judgement holding Terrace Inn liable was entered on April 4 when the establishment failed to respond to the civil complaint.
Judge Anthony Marsili reviewed evidence, including medical records and expenses totalling $39,000 and wages that Meixelsberger lost as a result of the crash totalling $270,000, according to his Feb. 6 order.
Marsili ordered Terrace Inn to pay Meixelsberger $300,000 for pain and suffering, $309,490 for economic damages and $35,000 for loss of consortium, according to court documents.
The civil complaint is pending against Blandford, Zimmaro said.
Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 2,200 union employees of ATI lose coverage
- Mentor takes young Brackenridge hunter under his wing
- Regoli won’t seek recount in Westmoreland County judge election
- New Kensington man killed in North Buffalo crash
- Shoppers can buy gifts for seniors through Home Instead program
- November spared Valley effects of wintry weather
- Body found in Allegheny River in Harrison
- Tarentum Bridge falcon defends turf as eagles scout nesting locations
- Puppy, pals come to rescue of Lower Burrell firefighters
- Saxonburg machine shop 3 generations strong
- Springdale Township neighbors at odds over drone