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Car Accidents - Verdicts & Settlements

May 24, 1989

Staff Writer

Settlement More Than $3.5 million In Ruddy Death Case

A compromise and settlement totaling over $3.5 million in a wrongful death case of a former Dunmore High School football star was approved Tuesday by Lackawanna County President Judge James Walsh.

Plaintiffs in the case were Robert and Rose Ruddy, individually, and Mrs. Ruddy as parent and as administratrix of the estate of William ruddy.

Defendants were identified as Commonwealth Pennsylvania State System of Education; Mansfield University; Hamilton trucking incorporated; Robert M. Jones and Raymond Braque, trading as Jones & Braque Mining Company; and Donald C. Jackson, original defendants; and Frank Andrew Butsko, Ralphs Service Center Incorporated and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, additional defendants.

The case involved Robert Ruddy, the plaintiff, and William Ruddy, the decedents, twin sons of Rose Ruddy of 1518 Clay Avenue, Dunmore, who were passengers in a car operated by Frank Andrew Butsko, a football coach at Mansfield University, while the vehicle was traveling on Route 6, Tioga county.

Donald Jackson, one of the defendants, was operating an autocar truck while employed for Hamilton Trucking company, when the vehicles collided.

The collision resulted in the death of William Ruddy, 19 and left his mother the person entitled to recover damages for his wrongful death.

The agreement was reached on May 17th, just after testimonies had begun to be heard by a jury.

Robert Ruddy will receive initial cash payments, together periodic future payments over the course of his lifetime, in the amount of $2,639,622.00.

His mother, Rose, an administratrix of the estate will receive over the remainder of her life the sum of $1,350,204.00.

The initial payments included the payment of consul fees and the reimbursement of all cost attendance to the litigation.

The settlement agreement calls for ROSE Ruddy, an administratrix of the estate of her deceased son to receive $5,000 for funeral expenses; as wrongful death beneficiary to receive an initial cash payment of $550,000 and monthly payments in the amount of $1,743 starting on July 25th, 1989 until her death or until 120 monthly payments have been made.

Robert Ruddy will receive the sum of $368,571.00 in monthly payments of $1020.00 starting June 26th, 1989, until his death or until 360 payments have been made.

The payments shall increase on each annual anniversary of the first month by three percent compounded annually.

He will also receive $500 per month starting June 25th of this year until his death or until 360 payments have been made.
The payments shall also increase annually by three percent compounded annually.

He will also receive the sum of $10,000 on or before August 15th, 1990 and an additional $10,000 each year up to 1993 on the August date.

In May of 1994 he will receive $20,000; followed by $30,000 on or before May 26th, 1999; additional $45,000 on or before may 26th, 2004; an $65,000 on or before may 26th, 2009.

Attorney Joseph A. Quinn Jr. of the law firm of Hourigan Kluger Spohrer & Quinn, Wilkes-Barre, was attorney for the petitioners.

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