Injured Man Gets Multi-Million-Dollar Judgment

Tue May 20, 2003 - National Edition

PITTSBURGH (AP) A man who suffered severe brain damage when he drove into the back of a construction vehicle parked on the Pennsylvania Turnpike was awarded a $5.6-million-dollar judgment by a federal jury.

Anthony Ravotti, 37, of Avon, OH, was driving about 50 mph in a construction zone near Bedford that had a posted 40 mph speed limit.

The jury ruled Ravotti was 25 percent at fault because he was speeding.

A federal judge ruled that New Enterprise Stone and Lime Co., which had set up the construction zone, must pay interest on the award, bringing the total closer to $7.5 million, Ravotti’s lawyer, Neil Rosen, said.

A truck driver working for contractor Bilger Concrete, which also was found partially responsible, became lost and stopped his dump truck, mistakenly believing he was off the road.

New Enterprise failed to close one lane to allow for construction to go ahead, Rosen said.

Ravotti veered to avoid the truck, but struck the tire of a tractor-trailer, spun and hit the parked vehicle.

“They wiped this man’s life out,” said Rosen.

Messages were left for both companies on May 3.

The money was awarded to Ravotti and his mother, who is his guardian.