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Personal Injury Verdicts & Awards


Volume XXIV, Number 33
Copyright 2001 by American Lawyer Media, ALM LLC

August 13, 2001

Verdicts and Settlements


Date of Verdict or Settlement: May 9, 2001
Court and Case Number: C.P. Luzerne No. 5817-C of 1998.
Judge: Hugh Mundy.

Type of Action: Automobile negligence and corporate liability.
Injuries: Stephanie Kush: depressed skull fracture, cognitive deficits, liver laceration, kidney contusion, facial and abdominal scarring. Jessica Kush:

Depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, multiple abrasions and contusions. Plaintiff(s)' Attorney(s) : Joseph A. Quinn, Jr., Michelle M. Quinn, David A. Aikens, Edward J Ciarimboli, Wilkes-Barre.

Defense Attorney(s) : Nina Gussack, Tom Schmidt, Karen Suddath, Michael Droogan, Philadelphia. Harry Cardoni, Wilkes-Barre.
Plaintiff(s) Expert(s) : Ira Gensemer, Ed.D. neuropsychologist; Gregory Loomis, M.D. neurosurgeon; Ira Krafchin, M.D. plastic surgeon; Kristin Bewick, M.S., C.R.C.T. cognitive therapist; James Truscott, Ed.D., child psychologist; Andrew Verzilli, Ph.D., economist.

Defense Expert(s) : N/A


On July 10, 1998, 11-year-old Jessica Kush and 9-year-old Stephanie Kush were rear-seat passengers in a 1988 Chevrolet Suburban being driven by their uncle. They were traveling north on State Route 239 in Benton Township while defendant Robert Paul Deitz Jr. was operating a Wickes Lumber truck west on State Route 1035.

The accident occurred when Deitz failed to stop for a sign posted for westbound vehicles on State Route 1035 and proceeded to strike the passenger side of the suburban, pushing it across the southbound lane where it rolled over and landed on its roof.

In a recorded statement to his insurance carrier, Deitz said he had already been on duty for an excess of 70 hours when the accident occurred, in violation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. The regulations state that a driver cannot operate a commercial vehicle after being on duty 60 hours in any consecutive seven-day period.

In addition to pursuing a claim against Wickes on the basis of vicarious liability, the plaintiffs also contended that the company was independently liable on the basis of corporate negligence.

After participating in a mediation, the parties agreed to settle for a combination of up-front cash and future, periodic lump-sum payments. The total settlement is $6 million and will result in payments to the minor plaintiffs in excess of $40 million.

PLEASE NOTE: Every case is fact specific, and these results do not guaranty the same results will be obtained in a different case.

About HKQ Law

Hourigan, Kluger & Quinn is considered one of the top civil litigation and commercial law firms that has had the privilege of representing more families in the courtroom than any other NEPA firm. The attorneys at HKQ Law have been honored as Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers, Best Law Firms by US News and World Report, and have received the AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbel. HKQ Law was recently recognized for one of the top 20 Verdicts in Pennsylvania.

The firm’s Personal Injury Team, led by Attorney Joe Quinn, Jr., has won some of the largest verdicts and settlements in the region's history. The Personal Injury Team focuses on a wide array of personal injury claims and civil litigation, including medical malpractice, auto and truck accidents, aviation accidents, unsafe vehicles, dangerous or defective products, workplace injuries (worker's compensation), construction site accidents, claim denials by insurance companies, dangerous drugs, defective children's products, nursing home abuse and neglect, and falls due to unsafe conditions (slip and fall).

Attorney Joseph A Quinn, Jr. is one of only 100 attorneys in the United States (and one of only three in Pennsylvania) honored with membership in the Inner Circle of Trial Advocates, and one of only 500 attorneys worldwide chosen to be a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He has been a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer every year since the program began and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America every year since the publication was established in 1987. Best Lawyers also named him top personal injury attorney for Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. In addition, Best Lawyers, in conjunction with U.S. News & World Report, has designated HKQ a Tier 1 Best Law Firm across multiple categories in Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley.

Since the inception of the firm, the Commercial / Corporate Team led by Attorney Allan Kluger has provided comprehensive, integrated legal services to many of Northeastern and Eastern Pennsylvania's largest corporations, businesses, banks, non-profits and institutions, handling matters involving labor and employment, wills, trusts and estate planning, estate administration, elder law, commercial transactions, residential and commercial real estate, zoning, land use and development, telecommunications, mediations and arbitrations, commercial litigation, title insurance, business planning and business succession, corporate/business structuring, employment discrimination law for employers, banking, creditor’s rights, finance, lender liability defense, covenants not to compete, construction law, mergers and acquisitions and other business matters.

Additional information can be found at or by calling (800) 760-1529.



As Hourigan, Kluger and Quinn addresses the concerns raised by COVID-19, the health and safety of our clients, employees and friends of the firm remain our top priority.

These are very difficult and scary times and we hope that you and your loved ones are safe and symptom free. We recognize that so many of you are understandably anxious about your health, the economic impact of this pandemic and all of the consequences of social isolation.

We also recognize that many of you are anxious about how the coronavirus is impacting the Court systems, our firm and your cases. Although all of our offices are closed, our firm has remained fully operational and we have initiated procedures that allow all of our attorneys and staff to work remotely from their homes. Each of us and our staff will respond to any emails and calls about your cases as quickly as possible.

Our Federal and State Courts have instituted significant changes in their calendars as a result of the coronavirus. Although most courthouses are closed to the public, and Hearings and Trials will be delayed for some time, there are matters that can proceed telephonically and by video. Despite these changes in the Court calendars, we are working diligently on your cases and are determined to do whatever we possibly can to assure an early and just recovery for you and your loved ones. Even under these difficult circumstances, we believe that "Nobody will work harder for you than we will."

With regard to new potential clients, we are not in a position to have an in-person new client meeting, but we will be conducting these initial meetings via phone. New potential clients should call us for a free telephone consultation at (570) 287-3000.


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