RAM Law Attorneys Matt Bonanno, Ed Rebenack & Tyler Hall obtain $900,000 settlement for client who was t-boned by a school bus in Freehold.
On May 31, 2019, the RAM Law client was driving his pickup truck on Dutch Lane Road in Freehold. As he drove through the intersection with Kozloski Road, he was t-boned by the Defendant who was driving a Seman-Tov bus company, on her way to pick up her first student. The Defendant drove through a red light. Seman-Tov is a school bus company who provides millions of miles of transportation to school children throughout Monmouth and Ocean Counties.
Through discovery, including federal records requests, motor vehicle searches and subpoenas, the RAM attorneys found a number of serious ongoing safety violations by Seamn-Tov. Prior to our crash, the Defendant driver had been involved in seven prior collisions while operating a school bus, including three while employed with Seman-Tov. The most recent crash was four days prior to her crash with our client. That crash also occurred while driving a Seman-Tov school bus. At the time of our crash, Seman-Tov’s insurance carrier had deemed the driver uninsurable and instructed Seman-Tov not to allow her to drive any of their buses. Despite that, she continued operating Seman-Tov buses. The RAM attorneys deposed the driver of the bus, the company’s “safety director” and their vice president, who could not defend their actions.
RAM Law revealed that Seman-Tov was negligent in failing to do the necessary investigation to determine whether the driver was competent to operate a school bus and that Seman-Tov did not have adequate safety measures in place.
As a result, RAM Law sought punitive damages against Seman-Tov for their willful and wanton disregard for safety in their school bus operations. As a result of the crash, the client injured his neck and back, including two herniated discs in his cervical spine. He underwent multiple injections and was recommended for a cervical disc replacement surgery. The client has been unable to undergo the surgery to date because of his job.
The case settled shortly after party depositions and prior to expert and punitive damage discovery . The parties agreed to a settlement of $900,000, which included personal contribution by Seman-Tov.