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Derry Township man's estate files wrongful death suit against father

Rich Cholodofsky
| Saturday, April 28, 2012, 5:29 a.m.

The estate of a Derry Township man killed by a falling tree in February has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the dead man's father.

Brian Shean Sr., 37, was killed Feb. 9 after he and his father went to assist Mark Plachta, who was trying to take down a tree on the property of the victim's mother-in-law.

Shean family lawyer Jason Hines said Plachta was attempting to harvest the tree for firewood when he starting having difficulty.

According to the lawsuit, Shean and his father, Terry, came to help so the tree would not strike the mobile home of Dorthea Platt, Brian Shean's mother-in-law.

As the men worked, the tree broke free and fell to the ground. Brian Shean pushed his father out of the way and was then struck by the tree, the suit said.

Terry Shean and Plachta tried unsuccessfully to free Brian Shean from under the fallen tree.

In the lawsuit, Brian Shean's wife, Jennifer, representing her husband's estate, claimed, "Brian Shean Sr. suffered great pain and suffering and was killed as a direct and proximate result of negligence, carelessness and recklessness of defendant Terry Shean."

Hines said Monday that the lawsuit was only a means to ensure the future of the Sheans' son, Brian Jr.

"The heirs of the estate have to sue the responsible parties. I have to pursue this for a 4-year-old boy," Hines said.

The five-count lawsuit seeks an unspecified damages from Plachta and Terry Shean.

A woman who identified herself over the telephone as Plachta's wife yesterday said her husband would refuse to comment about the lawsuit.

Terry Shean could not be reached for comment.

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