WILKES-BARRE – A lawsuit filed by a former city police officer against his former attorney – who is now a county judge – has been dismissed by a judge specially appointed to hear the case.
Senior Judge Linda Wallach Miller of Monroe County threw out a lawsuit filed by George Cole of Wilkes-Barre. In the lawsuit, Cole claims he received no money from a $95,000 settlement in a 2007 injury case in which Michael Vough represented him.
Wallach Miller was appointed to hear the case because of Vough's position as a judge and his colleagues on the bench.
Cole, through his attorney Paul Perlstein, claimed in the January lawsuit that Vough was negligent, fraudulent and breached a contract when he paid the city more than $60,000, the amount remaining after legal fees were taken out.
The settlement stems from a 2007 lawsuit Cole filed after an incident on Park Avenue in Wilkes-Barre. Cole says he was in pursuit of a crime suspect when he slipped on an icy sidewalk and fell.
Cole sued the property owners and a settlement for $95,000 in the case was made in February 2010.
Cole alleged in the suit he should have received the $60,000, but instead Vough paid the money to the city of Wilkes-Barre as satisfaction for a lien the city has on Cole's recovery.
Cole received Heart and Lung Act benefits from the city as compensation for his wage losses and payment of his medical expenses.
Attorneys for Vough, the Perry Law Firm, requested that the lawsuit against their client be dismissed in July.
Wallach Miller said in her recent ruling that Cole provided no laws or other supporting material that say the money shouldn't have been paid to Wilkes-Barre.
Wallach Miller also said Cole has relied on laws surrounding motor vehicle code in his suit, which do not apply to the circumstances of his slip and fall suit.