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$2 Million Settlement Reached In Pedestrian Wrongful Death Lawsuit

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HONESDALE -- A multi-million dollar settlement has been reached in a wrongful death case involving a pedestrian who was struck and killed in Wayne County.

The family of Ruth Ann Malti of Honesdale was planning to sue several parties for her death in 2011.

It was at the intersection of Church and 7th Streets in Honesdale that Ruth Ann Malti was fatally injured in March 2011.

Malti was walking across Church Street in a crosswalk on March 22 when she was hit by a pickup truck driven by William Joseph.

The impact sent her to the pavement where she struck her head; she died days later at the hospital.

Now attorneys for her family say they reached a $2.05 million settlement for her death.

People in Honesdale spoke with Newswatch 16 and say the family deserves that money.

“It's never too much for a life, let's put it that way, it's never too much for a life,” said Ethel Conley.

Attorneys Daniel and Julia Munley filed a wrongful death civil lawsuit for the family against those who they say are responsible.

Named in that suit were:

  • William Joseph, the driver who struck Malti,
  • PennDOT,
  • the borough of Honesdale,
  • and Borton-Lawson, Leeward Construction and Parsons-Brinckerhoff, LCC; the engineers and construction companies who planned that one-way street configuration.

The attorneys say that crosswalk was placed directly in front of drivers turning left off of 7th Street and onto Church Street, creating an extremely dangerous place for pedestrians.

“They had a driver who was forced to look to his right while turning left and they left the crosswalk where pedestrians were going to cross the street on his left hand side, so he would be looking right and turning left,” said Daniel Munley.

In 2011 the crosswalk was located on the left side of the intersection where Ruth Ann Malti was walking when the driver turned left then struck her. Now the crosswalk has been moved to the other side of the intersection. The attorneys for her family say that is a much safer spot for pedestrians.

“The Malti family takes great solace in the fact that there has been an enormous amount of change toward pedestrian safety in Honesdale.

The civil suit was set to go to trial next month; that will not happen now that there is a settlement.

Calls to the parties named in the civil suit were not returned.


  • Tom

    I love the one way streets, the traffic was horrible when it was single lane. Pedestrians just need to be more cautious when crossing the street. When the person in the first lane stops for you make sure you check the other lane before you walk out!

  • jo kleine

    Are you people that illiterate. What do you think they have insurance for. Let’s see you lose a loved one due to stupidity of engineers, borough, Penn dot. I stopped coming to hones dale because of the streets!

  • Jeff

    This is a sad story for all involved. The Malti family, for losing a loved one; Mr Joseph for the mental burden that he must live with every day; those named in the lawsuit, (including the taxpayers)for the now increased insurance cost that they will incur and so on. Sadly, however, is the fact that after all of this and the efforts of those involved to correct the problem, I witness people who continue to cross in the very location that Mrs Malti lost her life. Yes, this is an every day occurance and at many other places in town also. PLEASE people, cross where you are supposed to and cross correctly! Take one step into the crosswalk, make eye contact with the driver and be sure that they are stopped, proceed to the center of the street and repeat the procedure before you continue across the second lane. Upon confirming that the second lane driver sees you and is stopped, give them a thanking nod and smile and proceed safely to the other side. Life is better when EVERYONE is kind and courteous.
    Thanks for reading.

  • John

    Pathetic. So I can not use sound judgement to cross the street like the other millions of residents so lets sue someone. No one ever takes responsibility- its always someone else’s fault. Again the taxpayers must suffer. Only in America.

  • Mike

    Pathetic. So I can not use sound judgement to cross the street like the other millions of residents so lets sue someone. No one ever takes responsibility- its always someone else’s fault. Again the taxpayers must suffer. Only in America.

  • Joe

    What a joke. Cap judgements at 10k. This is why you can’t do anything in this country without a 6-panel discussion, and also why everything costs so much. WE just paid that 2 mil, folks. Ridiculous.

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