This newspaper has learned that a monetary settlement is likely to be reached this week in the wrongful-death lawsuit filed against the Angola bar owner who is accused in the suit of being the driver of the sport utility Ford Explorer that struck and fatally injured 52-year-old handyman Barry Moss in December of 2013 on Route 5 in Evans.
“I’m hoping it [a settlement] can be reached by Thursday (Aug. 20),” said Buffalo attorney Michael Caffery who represents the Moss family in the lawsuit against Gabriele “Gabe” Ballowe who is accused in the suit of being the owner and driver of the car that hit Moss and left him dying by the side of the road.
Eva Valo, the former wife of Moss and the mother of his three children, is scheduled to be deposed in the lawsuit on Thursday with Ballowe to follow on Friday. But Caffery is hopeful that a settlement will be reached prior to the start of the deposition process on Thursday---and before Ballowe’s scheduled testimony the next day. Valo is the administrator of the Moss family’s estate. There was no dollar amount specified in the lawsuit filed in State Supreme Court in June of last year.
Caffery told the Buffalo News after filing the suit last year that “Evans police list Ms. Ballowe on their reports as the driver of the vehicle. Based on all the evidence from our investigation, and specifically the police investigation, we believe she was driving this vehicle.”
The suit alleges that Moss was struck late on the night of Dec. 21 or shortly after midnight while walking or riding his bicycle on the side of the road. According to the court papers, Moss suffered “fright, significant pain…and exposure to extreme cold temperatures” for several hours after he was hit by the SUV.
Ballowe has declined to comment on the case and her lawyer, Thomas Eoannou, has called the fatal hit-run a tragic accident but has declined to say whether Ballowe was driving the SUV that night. Eoannou had no comment on the lawsuit when it was filed.
Evans police have said they believe Ballowe’s SUV is the vehicle that struck and killed Moss but no criminal charges have been filed. The lack of charges in the case made it quite controversial as police insisted they had the right suspect in Ballowe but the district attorney felt the evidence in the case was insufficient to sustain a criminal indictment. The case remains open.