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Court upholds $10 million verdict in truck crash case

The Times-Tribune
February 10, 2015 

BY TERRI MORGAN-BESECKER, STAFF WRITER

The state Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal of a more than $10 million verdict in favor of a Dickson City woman who was injured in crash with a dump truck.

Attorney Joseph Quinn of Kingston filed suit on behalf of Holly Ann Kuchwara and her husband, Robert, against Valvano Construction Inc. of Dickson City and its driver, Theodus Williams, in connection with a May 2010 crash on Dundaff Street in Dickson City.

Mr. Williams was driving a 1979 Mack dump truck loaded with stone when he lost control and collided with a line of vehicles. The collision knocked another car into the back of Mrs. Kuchwara’s vehicle, sending it into a utility pole. Mrs. Kuchwara suffered a fractured vertebrae, shattered ankle, head trauma and other injuries.

A Luzerne County jury in September 2012 awarded the couple $9.1 million in compensatory damages and just more than $1 million in punitive damages after finding the truck had brake and steering deficiencies.

Valvano Construction and Mr. Williams appealed the verdict, which was upheld by the state Superior Court in May. The defendants then asked the state Supreme Court to hear the case. The court denied the petition in a one-paragraph order issued Feb. 5.