Family settles fatal motorcycle accident suit for $1.5 million
By Terrie Morgan-Besecker
The Times-Tribune (TNS)

The family of a Scranton man killed when a tractor- trailer struck his motorcycle reached a $1.5 million settlement with the trucking firm.

Thomas M. Burke Sr., 65, of Park Drive, Scranton, was riding his 2004 Harley Davidson motorcycle on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Carbon County on Oct. 4, 2013. The driver of a tractor-trailer owned by Lily Transportation Corp. of New Jersey moved into Mr. Burke’s lane and struck his motorcycle, pushing it into a barrier. Mr. Burke was pronounced dead at the scene.

Michael Pisanchyn of Scranton, attorney for Mr. Burke’s wife, Lela Mattern-Burke, initially filed suit against the company and the driver, John Hatterer, in Philadelphia County Court.The case was later transferred to U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

In a press release, Mr. Pisanchyn said evidence showed Mr. Hatterer, who died while the lawsuit was pending, was previously involved in several collisions and had a long history of driving violations.

A settlement was reached following a meeting with a mediator on March 22.

“The Pisanchyn Law Firm believes that this settlement sends a message to other trucking companies that if they do not follow the rules … putting our community in danger, there will be severe consequences,” the release says.