SHENANDOAH – The Shenandoah Borough Council does “not object” to the settlement of the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of a Shenandoah man who died while in custody of borough police in 2004.
The vote was held at Monday’s meeting to settle the lawsuit out of court for $ 600,000, with council President Leo Pietkiewicz, Vice President Brian Conroy, John Szczyglak, Paul J. Holland, Andrew Szczyglak and Robert Kulpowicz approving the motion. Abstaining was Raymond Nestor, who is the father of former police Chief Matthew R. Nestor, who along with former police Capt. Jamie Gennarini and the Borough of Shenandoah, were named in the lawsuit.
The civil lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania on Nov. 27, 2006, by Carlos J. Vega, Shenandoah, and Genevieve F. Victor, Hazleton, parents of the late David L. Vega. The reaching of a settlement was announced July 5 by U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III.
The lawsuit alleged that David Vega was killed by borough police while in custody, with his death made to look like a suicide. The parents had asked for unspecified actual and punitive damages in excess of $ 150,000, plus attorney fees and costs, from the defendants, alleging numerous violations of their son’s legal rights, and demanded a jury trial of the case.
In February, Jones ruled that the Vega family had presented enough evidence that justified a trial in the wrongful death lawsuit and scheduled the case for the August trial term. The position of the defendants was that David Vega did commit suicide, which was the determination of a county deputy coroner.
The $ 600,000 settlement will be paid [...]