A Philadelphia jury has awarded nearly $10 million to the family of a woman killed during a scuffle with members of a motorcycle club outside of a Reading-area restaurant. According to court records, a jury last week awarded $9.7 million to the Estate of Tonya Focht, who had been fatally struck by an SUV during a melee that occurred in June 2015. The fight involved several members of the Iron Order Motorcycle Club.
Although the club had been one of several defendants sued, the club had been let out of the case at the end of trial after it file a motion for compulsory nonsuit. That decision has been appealed.
Lawyers of Distinction member Slade McLaughlin, who is representing Focht, said the case was unique because it had to be tried in the Criminal Justice Center, rather than City Hall, for security reasons. He also said he plans to continue to pursue liability against the motorcycle club.
“The client will not have achieved full justice until the Iron Order Motorcycle Club (which is responsible for the actions of its members) is held accountable and liable for the death of Tonya Focht,” McLaughlin said in a statement. “We have filed post-trial motions this week … and we will see this case through all appeals to the very end. The client’s needless death deserves nothing less.
Brian Grady of Elliott Greenleaf, who represented the Iron Order Motorcycle Club, said there was no evidence that the club had anything to do with the fight. “The Judge was right on the money with the law. We’re extremely comfortable with the rulings that he made,” said Grady.