A photo from inside Titus Gallery shortly after the crash

ITHACA, N.Y. — The owners of an art gallery on the Ithaca Commons have filed a lawsuit against the driver and trucking company involved in the the Simeon’s crash of June 2014.

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Titus Gallery Art and Antiques says in a lawsuit filed this week that owner Matthew Peterson was badly hurt in the crash and that it destroyed many of the gallery’s most prized possessions.

“The crash was so cataclysmic that the tractor trailer exploded a wall in plaintiffs’ business at 222 East State Street, shattering, destroying and otherwise damaging antiques and valuable works of art,” the lawsuit says.

A photo from inside Titus Gallery shortly after the crash

“Peterson was near this wall, and shards of debris and glass shot past and into him, leaving him injured in a cloud of dust.”

See related: The other side of the wall: Inside Titus Gallery when ‘everything changed’ in a second

Viacheslav Grychanyi, 37, of Spokane, Wash., and Quality Relocation Services are named as defendants in the lawsuit.

Grychanyi drove the truck that slammed into Simeon’s restaurant, killing a pregnant young mother and injuring several others.

The Petersons are seeking $180,000 in damages — but, as with all of the victims in the Simeon’s crash, it’s unclear how much (if any) money they will in fact receive. That’s in part because the U.S. Congress, despite the efforts of non-profit advocacy groups, has refused to raise the minimum amount of catastrophic insurance for trucking companies.

See related: ‘Ridiculous and tragic:’ Why insurance is unlikely to cover Simeon’s crash victims

Like several other lawsuits filed by victims of the crash, the one filed by Peterson and Susan Titus blames Grychanyi and trucking company Quality Relocation Services for the crash. (It does not list the city of Ithaca as defendants, as at least one lawsuit has.)

Here are some of its allegations against the driver:

Ithaca firm Schlather, Stumbar, Parks & Salk is representing the Titus Gallery.

In addition to the destroyed artwork and physical injury, the lawsuit lists other damages for which Matthew Peterson and Susan Titus are seeking relief.

“(Peterson) suffered loss of business in the months following the accident, when the business was closed for repair and/or in a disfavored retail location because of the disrepair,” the lawsuit says.

“…Plaintiff has spent hundreds of hours cleaning and/or repairing items that were affected by the crash. In addition, because of the crash, many community members had or have the false impression that plaintiff closed his business premises, and that impression has caused and continues to cause economic loss to plaintiff’s business.”

Click on the Ithaca Voice Story Database to learn more. Stories on this topic are filed under “Simeon’s victims in crash’s aftermath.”

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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.