Steve Barnes of Cellino and Barnes Killed In Plane Crash
One part of the famous Upstate New York personal-injury firm Cellino and Barnes was killed in a plane crash. Lawyer Steve Barnes of the duo, and Barnes' niece Elizabeth Barnes were both killed in Genesee County.
According to the NY Post, Barnes was at the controls of the single-engine propeller-powered aircraft when it went down in a wooded area at 11:45AM on 10/2/2020.
“It is with great sadness that I learned of the tragic passing of Steve Barnes in a plane crash,” said Cellino, who had been locked in a bitter legal battle with his former law partner over the pair’s business split — including about who would get the firm’s catchy commercial jingle.
“Equally heartbreaking is the passing of Elizabeth Barnes, sister of Brian Barnes and daughter of Rich Barnes, Steve’s brother and an attorney at our firm,” Cellino wrote.
The aircraft had left Buffalo and was en route to Manchester, NH, when it crashed. Barnes had his pilot’s license and owned the Socata TBM 700, sources said. The NTSB is investigating the accident.
The duo’s Buffalo-based personal-injury firm is known statewide for its ubiquitous ad featuring its toll-free phone number, (800) 888-8888 — and both men had duked it out for several years over who would get it, among other things now that the firm is dissolved.
The jingle is so well known, Saturday Night Live had fun with it back in 2019:
Saturday Night Live picked up on it and made them part of a skit where the sharks from the popular tv show "Shark Tank" decide whether or not they want to take on certain high profile cases.