It’s been 14 months since the fatal limousine crash in Schoharie that claimed 20 lives. As families continue to mourn, two new lawsuits have been filed seeking accountability.
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“We can work together to try and bring some kind of justice to the people who’ve been left behind by this tragedy,” said attorney Cynthia LaFave.
Attorneys for families of seven of the victims filed that complaint at the Montgomery County clerk’s office on Thursday. They represent Adam and Abigail Jackson, Savannah Bursese, Allison King, Amy Steenburg, and Mary and Robert Dyson.
“Make no mistake about it. The plaintiff's attorneys in this action, we believe this crash was entirely preventable,” said attorney Thomas Mortati.
The lawsuit names Shahed and Nauman Hussain — the limousine owner and operator — their businesses, and Mavis Discount Tire as the defendants. The attorneys allege the defendants were aware of the defects in the limo. Court documents have alleged Mavis Discount Tire falsified its records of brake work done for that limo.
“They [put] back out on to the road a limousine that was not safe to be occupied, not safe to be used,” LaFave said.
In addition, the attorneys filed a second lawsuit in the state court of claims against the state of New York and the department of transportation. Despite the state flagging multiple safety issues and ordering the limo to be taken out of service, the lawsuit claims they should have done more to keep it off the road.
“This vehicle was allowed to be inspected in a manner not consistent with a DOT type inspection that should’ve been done on this vehicle — [and] would’ve discovered some of the defects,” Mortati said.
A spokesperson for the state DOT and the attorney for the Hussains declined to comment on these lawsuits. A spokesperson for Mavis Discount Tire did not respond to requests for a comment.