Settlement In Fatal Collision Unsealed

May 11, 2019

WILKES-BARRE — A county judge on Friday unsealed a $1.3 million settlement between a prominent local attorney and a man killed when the attorney drove the wrong way on the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike late last year.

The settlement between attorney Joseph L. Persico, 68, of Shavertown, and the estate of Paul R. Gerrity, 50, of Scranton, was filed in court Thursday, but terms of the agreement were not immediately made public.

On Friday, Luzerne County Judge Michael T. Vough filed an order saying plaintiff’s attorney Brian G. Price, of the Kingston law firm Dougherty, Leventhal & Price, improperly filed a confidential document form “without the consent and approval of the court.”

As a result, the petition disclosing the terms of the settlement was unsealed.

The petition says Persico, an attorney with the Wilkes-Barre firm Rosenn, Jenkins & Greenwald, had $1.25 million insurance coverage through Encompass Insurance Co. and that Gerrity, a turnpike toll collector, had $65,000 coverage through State Farm Insurance Co. The lawsuit targeted Persico as well as State Farm.

All parties agreed to resolve the civil action brought by Gerrity’s sister Donna Gerrity for $1.32 million, the petition says. Of that amount, Dougherty, Leventhal & Price will collect $460,250, and another $2,775 will go to cover legal fees.


According to state troopers, Gerrity was driving north in the northbound lanes about 11:54 p.m. Nov. 6 when his 2003 Honda Civic was struck head-on by Persico’s 2015 Audi A4. Police say Persico had been traveling south in the northbound lanes.

Court records show Persico has not been charged in the crash. Carbon County District Attorney Jean A. Engler did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Contact the writer: