Michael Hermes, 49, has served his 10 days in jail for the crimes he pleaded guilty to in relation to the Oct. 22, 2011, incident on Patten Tract Road.
Hermes pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle under the influence, as well as 15 counts of assault. In addition to the jail time he served on weekends, he was required to pay a $1,000 fine and serve 100 hours of community service with MADD of Northwest Ohio.
This month, after a two-day conference, dozens of attorneys involved in the lawsuits came to settlement agreements, Erie County Common Pleas Magistrate Steve Bechtel said.
The terms of the agreements will remain confidential, he said. The attorneys gave the magistrate notice that they came to an agreement on all 21 claims and the 10 pending lawsuits filed by dozens of people injured in the crash. The cases hadbeen on hold until the criminal case against Hermes was settled.
In the interest of efficiency, Bechtel said he consolidated the cases because of issues that were common among all of them.
“It was complex with that number of cases,” he said. “It was a little bit of a challenge for the court to manage all that.”
A few satellite cases remain, involving disputes between insurance companies over who has to pay for what. But Bechtel is hopeful that those will soon be resolved, too.
“Everybody worked really hard. The lawyers worked hard, cooperated,” he said. “We were just glad to get it done.”
Hermes was the driver of a tractor that pulled two wagons during an annual bar crawl that ended at the Mason Jar each year. Witnesses said he was swerving intentionally during the last part of the ride, when the tractor caught the edge of a berm and tipped, taking the wagons with it and dumping dozens of passengers.
Some were taken to a Toledo hospital for treatment after suffering broken bones, road rash, bruising and torn ligaments.