While Theodus Williams was driving a fully loaded dump truck owned by Valvano Construction, he lost control of the vehicle on a two-lane highway. This caused a collision with another car, which in turn rear-ended the SUV in which Holly Ann Kuchwara was riding. The SUV hit a utility pole before coming to a stop. Kuchwara, 38, suffered multiple injuries, including a fractured spine, closed-head injury, broken ankle, and corneal abrasion. She now suffers from headaches, chronic pain, and fatigue.
Kuchwara and her husband sued Williams, alleging negligent driving. Suit also alleged Valvano Construction and its corporate management failed to maintain and inspect the dump truck, which the plaintiffs claimed was not roadworthy due to its defective steering system and faulty brakes. The plaintiff did not claim lost income or past medical expenses.
The jury awarded about $10.1 million, finding Williams 30 percent responsible.
Citation: Kuchwara v. Williams, No. 7040-2010 (Pa., Luzerne Co. Com. Pleas Sept. 24, 2012).
Plaintiff counsel: AAJ member Joseph A. Quinn Jr., and Michael A. Lombardo III, both of Kingston, Pa.