The opinion of the court was delivered by: Eduardo C. Robreno, District Judge.
AND NOW this 21th day of June, 1999, upon consideration
of Michelle Stecyk's petition for approval of the Settlement for
the benefit of her minor son, a supplement petition (doc. no.
304), and following two hearings at which evidence was received,
and a scheduling conference with counsel for the parties, it is
hereby ORDERED that the petitions are DENIED IN PART AND
GRANTED IN PART.
It is further ORDERED that the proceeds of the settlement
shall be apportioned and distributed as follows:*fn1
1) Mattioni Ltd. for counsel fees: $467,905.56
2) Under the Wrongful Death Act:
Michelle S. Stecyk (spouse) $458,002.01
Anthony L. Stecyk (son) $452,766.87
It is further ORDERED that plaintiff's counsel is authorized
to release the settlement funds held in escrow to plaintiff and
to the Mattioni law firm in the amount listed above.
It is further ORDERED that plaintiff's counsel shall petition
the court with appropriate jurisdiction, the Court of Common
Pleas of Delaware County, for appointment of a guardian for the
minor's estate to administer the distribution of the minor's
share of the settlement funds. See Pa. R. Civ. P. 2206;
Sosenke v. Norwood, No. 91-2623, 1993 WL 512824, at *3 (E.D.Pa.
Dec.6, 1993) (Bechtle, J.) (not allowing distribution of
settlement funds to minor until a corporate guardian for minor
had been appointed by court with appropriate jurisdiction).
It is further ORDERED that the minor's share listed above
shall be kept in the escrow account and no further distribution
shall be made until further order of this court.
The decision of the court is based upon the following
1. The present actions is one of four consolidated diversity
actions that arose out of the crash of an experimental V-22
Osprey aircraft during a ferry flight near Quantico, Virginia on
July 20, 1992. Each of the four cases proceeded on the theory
that the defendants' negligence caused the crash. Prior to trial,
two of the four plaintiffs settled — the present case for $1.5
million and the other for $1.1 million. The other two plaintiffs
proceeded to trial where the jury returned a defense verdict.
Before the court are Michelle S. Stecyk's (hereinafter
"plaintiff") petitions for approval of the portion of the
settlement for the benefit of her minor son. Specifically,
plaintiff requests the distribution of the $1.5 million
settlement fund in the amount $632,215.91 to herself, $245,586.10
to her minor son and $500,872.42 to her counsel. On June 14,
1999, this court entered an order finding that the settlement was
fair and reasonable and in the best interest of the minor child.
See Order of June 14, 1999 (doc. no. 306). In addition, the
court concluded that the costs in the amount of $121,325.57,
advanced by plaintiff's counsel were reasonable and ...