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$227 Million Record Settlement Reached In Philadelphia


$227 Million Record Settlement Reached in the 2013 Philadelphia Salvation Army Thrift Store Collapse Litigation

Philadelphia, PA (February 9, 2017) – Harry M. Roth and James G. Begley of Cohen, Placitella & Roth were part of a team of trial lawyers that announced the settlement of $227 million in the lawsuit arising from the June 5, 2013 Salvation Army Thrift Store collapse. Believed to be the largest personal injury settlement in Pennsylvania’s history the settlement proceeds will be allocated among the 19 plaintiffs which include loved ones of the seven that died following the collapse. The defendants include the Salvation Army, Richard Basciano, STB Investments Corporation (Mr. Basciano’s company), Plato Marinakos (Mr. Basciano’s owner’s representative), Griffin Campbell and Sean Benschop. On January 31, 2017 and after nearly 4 months of testimony, the jury deliberated for four hours returning a unanimous verdict finding all defendants liable and apportioning 75% responsibility on the Salvation Army.

Harry M. Roth and James G. Begley represented the family of Borbor Davis in the case. Mr. Roth stated that “everyone remembers June 5, 2013 as a dark day for Philadelphia. The attention and work of the jurors, including their verdict, represents everything that is good about Philadelphia and helped to heal the tear that happened in Philadelphia on June 5th.” He added that “it is a bittersweet day for the family of Borbor Davis and that the family appreciates the message that the jury sent in this case that lives matter in the city.”

In addition to Mr. Roth and Mr. Begley, the plaintiffs’ trial team who represented the seven people that died after collapse and seven survivors includes: Robert J. Mongeluzzi and Jeffrey P. Goodman of Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett & Bendesky; Steven Wigrizer and Jason S. Weiss of Wapner, Newman, Wigrizer, Brecher & Miller; Andrew Stern and Elizabeth Crawford of Kline Specter; and Adam E. Grutzmacher of Clearfield & Kofsky. All counsel recognize Hon. M. Teresa Sarmina, who presided over this trial and did an incredible job overseeing this trial. She was extremely well prepared and worked very hard.

Jerry Roscoe of JAMS conducted two mediation sessions with all counsel and worked between them to get the parties to arrive at this settlement agreement. He will serve as the arbitrator responsible for determining the allocation of damage proceeds among the plaintiffs.

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