Lawsuit, Parental Battles File Case Of A 12-year-old Killed By A Car

Posted By St. Petersburg Times | 14-Feb-2001

Months from now, even years, perhaps, a jury might listen to days of testimony about a young boy named Stewart and a Spring Hill woman who stuck him with her car one night in January.

They will have to decide whether Geraldine Berotti, 74, was careless when she headed north on middle Pinehurst Drive, crested a hill and hit 12-year-old Stewart and his twin brother, Anthony- each riding scooters across the Spring Hill street- before she realized what happened. They will have to put a value on Stewart’s life and his brother’s injuries and then say how much, if anything, Berotti owes their family- unless a settlement can be reached or the case is dismissed.

Florida Highway Patrol officials have not concluded their investigation of the crash and have yet to assign blame. But Stewart’s mother Amber Costa, has. On Friday, she sued Berotti.

“She has just been devastated. It is an indescribable loss- particularly when you have a twin child who you see every day as a constant reminder,” said Costa’s lawyer, Steve Malove. “We believe the driver was careless and (Stewart) died as a result of that carelessness.”

In addition to the lawsuit against the driver, Malove said he is researching whether the scooters the twins were riding were defective.

“So many children are being injured,” he said. “There are a lot of issues that need to be resolved.”
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