The former Northeast Ohio Regional Tire Dealers Association (NORTDA) tentatively has settled a lawsuit filed by a tire dealer for alleged medical complications caused during an association party.
NORTDA-which dissolved in September due to the financial strain posed by this lawsuit-tentatively agreed to settle with Jim and Mary Federico, owners of Federico Tire Inc. in Painesville, Ohio, for $1,000, according to Joan Floyd, executive secretary of the former group.
Mrs. Federico filed suit against hypnotist Don Mannarino, claiming Mr. Mannarino allegedly put her into a hypnotic trance without removing her from that state during a NORTDA Christmas party.
Mrs. Federico claimed she suffered a ``pyschosomatic reaction to the hypnotism'' and sued the hypnotist for at least $25,000 despite incurring an estimated $700-$800 in medical costs.
The plaintiffs dropped the suit for a ``nominal nuisance value,'' according to John Meros, Mr. Mannarino's attorney. Mr. Mannarino has agreed to settle with the plaintiffs for $500.
Mr. Meros noted that official papers have not yet been signed but expected them to be signed and filed during the week of Oct. 18. He declined to comment on the case other than to say there was ``no merit to the plaintiffs' claim,'' and no depositions or motions were ever taken.
Mrs. Federico's attorney, Jim Lyons, declined to comment.
NORTDA was added as a third-party defendant by Mr. Mannarino, who claimed full indemnification from NORTDA for all damages and costs. The association's contract with the hypnotist included a clause stating that it would hold him ``harmless'' in personal injury or property damage claims arising from his performance.
Despite the planned settlement, NORTDA will remain disbanded, Ms. Floyd said, noting that attorney's fees alone cost the association-which had no liability insurance-$1,000.