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Westchester Supermarket Owner Stew Leonard Settles Suit In Death Of Friend

Dairy superstore magnate Stew Leonard settled a multi-million dollar wrongful death lawsuit recently.
Dairy superstore magnate Stew Leonard settled a multi-million dollar wrongful death lawsuit recently. Photo Credit: File

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Supermarket magnate and Westport, Conn., resident Stew Leonard agreed to settle a multi-million dollar lawsuit stemming from the death of a friend who was thrown off of Leoneard's powerboat in 2011 , according to

The settlement was reached just before the wrongful death case was set to go to trial. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but court documents revealed a previous settlement offer to be $7.5 million, reported.

Barbara Speranza brought the suit against Leonard after her husband, Robert, was thrown from Leonard's powerboat in the Caribbean after it hit a 12-foot wave in August 2011.

The wave the struck the boat smashed through the windshield and nearly capsized the vessel while the group was traveling from St. Maarten to St. Thomas.

The lawsuit stated that the boat should not have been taken out in the conditions since there was a small craft advisory in effect at the time.

Robert Speranza and his son, Tom, were both swept to the back of the boat with the force of the wave hit the boat. Tom was able to hold on to a railing, but Robert Speranza was thrown into the water unconscious said.

The captain of the ship was able to recover Robert Speranza from the water, but CPR efforts proved ineffective, according to

Leonard founded his dairy store in Norwalk and now has locations in Yonkers and in Danbury and Newington in Connecticut. Leonard's son, Stew Leonard, Jr. now runs all those locations, said.

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