Nemacolin Woodlands Resort founder Joe Hardy to pay $200,000 in suit

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The founder of 84 Lumber has agreed to pay $200,000 to settle some claims in a lawsuit filed by the parents of a teenager who died in a drunken driving crash after a party at his posh southwestern Pennsylvania resort.

Claims against the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort will continue even if a judge approves the settlement offer by Joe Hardy and his daughter, Paige. The partial settlement is detailed in a document filed in Fayette County Common Pleas Court by attorney Thomas Crenney, who represents the dead boy’s parents, Daniel and Tricia Nelson.

The Nelsons, of Chalk Hill, sued the Hardys, the resort and the teen driver who crashed on a resort road after drinking with their son and others at the party in September 2011. The crash killed 17-year-old Zack Nelson and injured several other teens, including Paige Hardy.

Police said the blood-alcohol level for 17-year-old driver Steven DiCenzo was nearly 0.14 percent, nearly seven times the legal limit for teen drivers.

Steven DiCenzo was sentenced in juvenile court to 45 days in a rehabilitation facility and was ordered to undergo counseling and be confined to his home for 180 days.

The Hardys aren’t admitting wrongdoing in the settlement, which must be approved by a judge. Their attorney, M. Scott Gemberling, declined to comment Wednesday, saying the settlement is confidential.



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