Lawsuit settled in Donora building collapse

  • By Scott Beveridge November 2, 2012

The Donora Historical Society has settled a federal lawsuit filed by an insurance company seeking to recoup money it paid to one of its customers whose house was destroyed when the society’s building collapsed during a heavy snowfall.

The society and State Farm settled the case Thursday without disclosing the terms of the resolution in court, said Daniel Luccaro, a Philadelphia attorney representing the insurance company.

“Mutually, we agreed that we would share the terms,” Luccaro said.

The society’s members initially feared they might have to part with their museum’s artifacts to settle damages after their five-story brick headquarters at 970 McKean Ave. collapsed Feb. 6, 2010, under the weight of 2 feet of heavy, wet snow.

The collection had already been relocated and the building was vacant when it fell, destroying a house next door owned by Edward and Marian Bzulko.

State Farm sued to recover the $156,446 it paid to the Bulkos, claiming the society had neglected its building, which was once a Slovak Club. The borough had received several complaints about the building’s deteriorated condition prior to the snowstorm.

Luccaro said the museum collection has been spared, that the settlement involved the use of the society’s liability insurance.

The society’s attorney, Tom Burris of Pittsburgh, could not be reached for comment.

Scott Beveridge has been with the Observer-Reporter since 1986 after previously working at the Daily Herald in Monongahela. He is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s fine arts and art education programs and Duquesne University’s master of liberal arts program. He is a 2004 World Affairs journalism fellow.


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