Common pleas Judge R. Stanton Wettick Jr. has pulled the plug on a 22-year-old lawsuit, ruling that the former Kennametal whistle-blower who filed it failed to prosecute her case in a timely manner.
The judge also said the passage of more than 20 years made it too difficult for Kennametal, its former executives and others who were targets of the lawsuit to defend themselves.
The lawsuit was filed by Marianne Gasior, a former Kennametal attorney. Ms. Gasior told a congressional committee in 1991 that the Latrobe company violated U.S. export laws by selling military technology to Iraq in the years leading up to that country’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Kennametal denied the allegations.
Ms. Gasior sued Kennametal and several of its executives in 1992, accusing them of making false and malicious statements about her. She also named the Tribune-Review and another newspaper as defendants for publishing what she said were false statements her former employer made about her.
Kennametal countersued, accusing Ms. Gasior of violating the terms of her separation agreement, interfering with its business, and making false and injurious statements.
The Latrobe toolmaker said in an email that it is pleased with Judge Wettick’s decision. While the company said it retains its right to defend itself against such claims, “We’d expect the court’s decision in this case to relieve us from needing to take any further action in this matter,” the statement said.
Both lawsuits have languished for years. Ms. Gasior said she was placed under federal protection in 1991 after several threats were made on her life. In court papers, Ms. Gasior said she was reluctant to pursue the lawsuit because of “continuing threats to her physical security and escalating violence from the defendants.”
Judge Wettick did not find her claim convincing. He approved motions filed last year by Kennametal and other defendants to dismiss the case.
Ms. Gasior asked Judge Wettick to set aside his July 1 decision, but he denied her motion July 25. She plans to appeal the ruling to Superior Court.
Len Boselovic: 412-263-1941 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Len Boselovic: 412-263-1941 or email@example.com