Last updated: May 27. 2014 6:47PM - 3307 Views
By - rdupuis@civitasmedia.com - (570) 991-6113

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Flora responds to

county’s objections

Former Luzerne County Chief Public Defender Al Flora Jr. has filed a response to the county’s preliminary objections in his wrongful termination lawsuit.

Flora, who was fired in April 2013, claims his termination was in retaliation for his efforts to seek more money for the office and to enforce court-ordered expungement of juvenile records. He also contended the firing was a violation of his First Amendment rights to free speech.

After U.S. District Court dismissed his federal case in March, Flora in April filed a new suit against the county in county court.

Lawyers for the county earlier this month argued that the case should be dismissed, stating that there is no evidence County Manager Robert Lawton tried to stifle Flora nor order any kind of cover-up.

Flora’s filing asks the court to overrule the county’s objections.

Court upholds $10 million

verdict in 2010 crash

State Superior Court this month upheld one of the largest verdicts in Luzerne County history, affirming a jury’s decision to award a Lackawanna County couple $10 million in connection with a 2010 crash.

Holly Ann Kuchwara and her husband, Robert, sued Theodus Williams of Olyphant and Valvano Construction Inc. of Dickson City over injuries Holly Ann Kuchwara suffered after her vehicle was struck by a dump truck.

According the suit, Kuchwara was driving one of three vehicles that were involved in a chain-reaction crash after Williams failed to stop the 1979 Mack tri-axle dump truck he was driving on Dundaff Street in Dickson City.

Following a four-week trial before Luzerne County Judge William Amesbury in 2012, a jury found Valvano and Williams acted with reckless indifference, which allowed the Kuchwaras to seek punitive damages.

The Kuchwaras were represented by attorney Joseph Quinn.

Superior Court on May 12 upheld the award, as well as rejecting the defendants’ request for a new trial.

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