Sunday, July 27, 2014

Woman seeks payment of jury award out of settlement in child’s death

July 24. 2013 11:57PM

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WILKES-BARRE — A woman who was injured in a January 2008 car crash has asked to intervene in a wrongful death lawsuit involving an infant to gain money awarded by a jury in her case.

In court papers filed this week, Jessica D’Aiello, of Exeter, requests that Alicia Balasavage, of Pittston, be ordered to pay a $44,188 judgment made in D’Aiello’s favor stemming from the car accident and a later jury trial.

D’Aiello requests the payment, according to court papers, because Balasavage recently settled a wrongful death suit involving her infant daughter who died after a fire at their home on George Avenue in Wilkes-Barre in July 2007.

D’Aiello’s filing, through her attorney Anthony Ross, states Balasavage had previously lacked the funds to pay the jury award and recently settled the wrongful death suit for $140,000.

According to court papers:

• In July 2007, 6-month-old Emily Joan Hockenbury died in a fire at her parent’s George Avenue home.

• The girl’s mother and father, Balasavage and Scott Hockenbury, filed a wrongful death suit in March 2008 against landlords Anthony Balucha and his wife, Karen, alleging defective electrical outlets caused the blaze.

• D’Aiello sued Balasavage and the owner of the car she was driving in November 2008 stemming from a January 2008 accident on Scott Street in Wilkes-Barre. D’Aiello alleged she was injured as a result of the crash.

• On March 13, 2013, D’Aiello was awarded $44,188 after a jury trial.

• On July 2, 2013, Balasavage and Hockenbury filed a petition to settle the wrongful death suit for $140,000.

• This week, D’Aiello filed her petition to intervene in the wrongful death suit to be paid the money she is owed from the car accident verdict.

Under Pennsylvania law, Ross wrote in the petition, D’Aiello has an interest in Balasavage’s other case because she is a “judgment creditor” of Balasavage.

An attorney who represents Balasavage, Barry Penn, of Philadelphia, did not return messages seeking comment. Contact information for Balasavage could not be found.

Luzerne County Judge Lesa Gelb scheduled a hearing on D’Aiello’s request for Aug. 26.

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