Gut Rumbles

January 27, 2009


Originally published February 4, 2004

State police said that Stephen Pappadake was speeding and passing other cars illegally on Mahopac Avenue in Somers when he lost control of his car, swerved to avoid another vehicle, crashed and died.

Police estimated that Pappadake, a 17-year-old Mahopac High School student, was going lots of stupid things begind the wheel. This one of those idiotic lawsuits where the plaintiffs should be run out of the court room with fire hoses and the laywer should be hanging nekkid from his testicles in the town square for two days.

Police estimated that Pappadake, a 17-year-old Mahopac High School student, was doing 80 mph in a 30 mph zone on the morning of April 29, 2003, when he lost control of his Honda sedan after passing several cars in a no-passing zone.

But a lawsuit filed this month in Putnam County Court seeks to place the blame for Pappadake's death on the driver of one of the vehicles he passed. The suit, filed on behalf of Pappadake's estate and his parents, Robert P. and Nancy Pappadake, names a Putnam Valley woman who allegedly drove a Jeep Cherokee that Pappadake passed as the cause of the fatal crash.

The sad part of this story is that the bastards probably will get some money out of it.

The lawsuit said that the driver of that vehicle, Christina Swartzwelder, caused the crash by "carelessness and negligence" and that Pappadake was not at fault.

"The defendants were careless, negligent in the ownership, management, operation and control of their motor vehicle; in allowing and permitting the motor vehicle to be operated at a dangerous and excessive rate of speed under the circumstances."

It also claims the Swartzwelders failed to "exercise due care and control" of the vehicle on the road, failed to "make timely, proper and adequate use of the brakes" and did not "observe and take heed of the traffic and road conditions."

Forget what the dead doofus did. It was another car's fault.

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