A jury awarded a Shamokin trucking firm $2,140,253.51 in damages against Reading Anthracite Company, Pottsville, over a contract dispute following a trial in Schuylkill County Court. Prothonotary Peter J. Symons believes it is the biggest award made by a county jury in a civil suit.

According to the verdict, Reading Anthracite must pay Empire Trucking Inc., $570,495.18 in damages plus $1,500,000 in punitive damages. The jury also awarded the trucking company damages against two affiliates of Reading Anthracite, $37,034.41 against Waste Managent and Processors; and $32,723.92 against Barket Associates Ltd.

The suit was a claim that Reading Anthracite failed to pay thousands of dollars in fuel surcharges for continued higher gasoline prices and hauling of coal from the company's mining sites. The suit was over a breach of contract.

Reading Anthracite is expected to appeal the jury verdict. The four day trial was held before President Judge William E. Baldwin