Injured cheerleader's parents settle Uniontown lawsuit |
Local News

Injured cheerleader's parents settle Uniontown lawsuit

The parents of a Fayette County cheerleader who was crushed under gymnasium bleachers have settled a civil lawsuit for $235,000 while a second lawsuit involving another cheerleader remains unresolved.

Taylor Wrona, 17, suffered a broken nose, broken teeth, broken ankles, facial scratches and permanent scarring when bleachers in the gymnasium at Uniontown High School collapsed onto her on Jan. 5, 2008, according to the civil lawsuit filed by her parents, David and Joy Wrona of Uniontown.

Wrona was 14 at the time. She and other members of a freshman cheerleading squad were practicing in the gym when their coaches had them push the bleachers into their storage position to create a practice area, according to the lawsuit. As the group pushed the bleachers, they collapsed, pinning Wrona and at least one other cheerleader, Shaneque Terry Walker, under them.

Walker, who was 16 at the time of the accident, suffered a fractured leg, broken ankle, nerve damage and scarring, according to a separate lawsuit filed by her mother, Terri Walker of Uniontown.

On June 30, Fayette County Judge John F. Wagner Jr. approved a $235,000 settlement agreement between the Wronas and the school district.

Under the agreement, $137,989 is to be placed into a federally insured account in Taylor Wrona’s name until she turns 18 or by further order of the court.

The law firm that represented the Wronas, Chiurazzi and Mengine of Pittsburgh, is to receive $78,333 in fees.

Of the remaining money, $9,301 will go toward a medical lien, $7,510 toward a physical therapy bill, and $1,867 for various costs incurred by the law firm, according to terms of the settlement.

Walker’s lawsuit remains unresolved, according to court records.

In both lawsuits, the cheerleaders’ parents contended the district should have known the bleachers posed a hazard.

In addition to Wrona and Walker, a third cheerleader and a school custodian were hurt when the bleachers collapsed, according to information the district released at the time.

The school district’s attorney, Roger W. Foley Jr. of Maiello, Brungo & Maiello of Pittsburgh, declined comment, citing a confidentiality agreement. He would say only that the district’s insurance carrier, New Cumberland-based School Claims Service, would pay the settlement. The attorney for the Wronas, Anthony C. Mengine, said he could not comment because of the confidentiality agreement.

The settlement was the result of a two-day mediation session that the two sides entered into after a judge found the district liable, according to court records. The records do not indicate whether a third party was used for the mediation.

Dr. Charles Machesky, school superintendent, did not return a phone call seeking comment.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.