Allentown
73° F
Overcast
Overcast
 

Easton settles firing of former subcontracted employees

By 69 News, (follow: @69news), news@wfmz.com
Published On: Feb 12 2013 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 14 2013 05:55:27 AM CST

Easton has settled a lawsuit with two women who claimed they were fired after 69 News aired a story about their complaints.

EASTON, Pa. -

Easton has settled a lawsuit with two women who claimed they were fired after 69 News aired a story about their complaints.

The city has settled with Jackie Lovering and Katie Pruden for $80,000.

Lovering and Pruden were employees of Benchmark Analytics, a subcontractor that worked with Easton's wastewater treatment plant.

Lovering and Pruden claimed dogs were being mistreated at kennels kept at the plant by the city.

But as we reported no evidence of that was ever found.

Lovering and Pruden lost their jobs and sued.

City officials say they felt compelled to settle because of a lack of tort protection and the judge's interpretation of the women as city employees instead of third-party employees.

"The last thing we want to do is put people out of work," said Mayor Sal Panto. "It was not our intent. Had it been our intent we would have told Benchmark we wanted them fired. We never said that. We didn't want them in our facility anymore because the accusation to me was like telling me I beat my wife. That's not what happens here. We take care of those dogs."

Benchmark also settled with the women but that figure isn't being released.

The city also says it has replaced Benchmark with another subcontractor at a cheaper cost.

Mayor Sal Panto says the city's settlement saves taxpayers at least $200,000 in legal fees not to mention the burden of a trial.