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Victim's family settles suit with USAir

Pittsburgh Tribune Review

By Marc Hopkins

The family of Stephen Shortley, a victim of the crash of Flight 427, has settled a claim against USAir for an undisclosed sum.

Shortley, 37, was among 132 people who lost their lives when the Pittsburgh-bound aircraft crashed Sept. 9, 1994 in Beaver County.

He is survived by his wife Joanne, 38, and two children, Lisa, 19, and Dan, 18. Family members declined to comment.

Neil Rosen, counsel for the family, said Shortley's wife was eager to put the settlement behind her.

"I think Joanne is a very sensitive woman who realizes that putting this behind her will permit her to go through with the grieving process a little easier without worrying about a lawsuit," Rosen said.

Rosen also said that by settling early, the family did not jeopardize a larger payoff by entering a lengthy court battle.

"The value of Steve's life will be the same today as it will be in two years," Rosen said. "The economic loss was settled (Thursday), but the emotional loss will always remain."

Rosen said he knew Shortley for eight years and described him as a wonderful father and husband.

"I feel a sense of loss, too. Of course, my loss is different from the family's," he said. "This settlement doesn't make me happy. It gives me a sense of legal accomplishment. If I could do more for the family, I would."

Shortley worked for Ernst & Young as a consulting manager in its national technology consulting practice.

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