Car wreck suit against GLS Leasco removed to federal court

By Kyla Asbury | May 6, 2013

MARTINSBURG - A motor vehicle lawsuit filed in Jefferson Circuit Court against GLS Leasco Inc. has been removed to federal court and a motion has been filed to consolidate it with two other federal cases.

MARTINSBURG - A motor vehicle lawsuit filed in Jefferson Circuit Court against GLS Leasco Inc. has been removed to federal court and a motion has been filed to consolidate it with two other federal cases.

Ronald J. Coffee, an employee of GLS, was also named as a defendant in the suit.

On March 21, 2011, Peter Garcia Jr. was a passenger in a vehicle being driven on W.Va. 340 at the intersection of 340 North and Shore Line Drive in Jefferson County and was stopped at a traffic light when a tractor-trailer being driven by Coffee and owned by GLS approached the light from being Garcia and failed to stop, according to a complaint filed April 22 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia.

Garcia claims Coffee failed to keep a proper look out, failed to keep a safe distance between his vehicle and the car Garcia was in, failed to maintain control of the vehicle, failed to reduce speed and was otherwise negligent with respect to his operation of the tractor-trailer.

Coffee had a duty to observe the traffic conditions, observe the stopped traffic, to keep a proper lookout, to keep a safe distance between his vehicle and others, maintain control of the vehicle, reduce his speed and otherwise operate the vehicle without colliding with the car in which Garcia was a passenger and breached these duties, which was negligent, according to the suit.

Garcia claims Coffee's negligence caused him physical injuries; pain and suffering; and incur medical expenses and lost wages and work benefits.

GLS is liable for Coffee's negligence as he was acting within the scope of his employment when the collision occurred, according to the suit.

Garcia is seeking compensatory damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He is being represented by William Richard McCune Jr. and Alex A. Tsiatsos of Wm. Richard McCune Jr. PLLC.

The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Gina M. Groh.

On April 23, GLS filed a Defendants' Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion to Consolidate, in which GLS and Coffee requested Garcia's suit be consolidated with two previous suits filed by Steven Allen Ehrlich and Jacqueline Ehrlich and William S. Allen.

The Ehrlich lawsuit also names Crown Enterprises Inc., Central Transport International Inc., Central Transport North America Inc., Central Transport LLC and Central Transport Michigan LLC as defendants. The Ehrlich suit does not name Coffee as a defendant.

The Ehrliches filed their suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia on March 1.

Allen filed his complaint in Jefferson Circuit Court and the defendants had it removed to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia on April 22.

The three lawsuits are currently pending before and being litigated in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia and arose out of the same motor vehicle/tractor trailer accident that occurred in Harpers Ferry in Jefferson County, according to the defendants' motion to consolidate the suits.

The defendants are being represented by Timothy Smith of Pion, Johnston, Nerone, Girman, Clements & Smith PC.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia case number: 3:13-cv-00042

More News

The Record Network