First lawsuit filed in deadly Schoharie limo crash

November 19, 2018 11:19 PM

The first lawsuit stemming from the horrific limousine crash in Schoharie has been filed.

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Amanda Rivenburg, 29, was in the limousine when it crashed on Oct. 6, killing all 18 people onboard and two pedestrians.

Rivenburg's parents filed the lawsuit in state Supreme Court, seeking unspecified damages.

"It's for personal injury damages for both compensatory damages and punitive damages,” said the family’s attorney Sal Ferlazzo. “Punitive damages are meant to punish people who commit gross negligence or just heinous situations."

The lawsuit names the owner of Prestige Limousine, Shahed Hussain and his son, Nauman Hussain. Nauman has pleaded not guilty to criminally negligent homicide.

The suit accuses Prestige and the Hussains of failing to fix flaws on the limousine that were found, when the limo failed spot inspections by the state Department of Transportation.

"If you let bad conduct go unpunished you're supporting it and this is very bad conduct," said Ferlazzo.

Ferlazzo said they also plan to sue New York State, but that will have to be done in the Court of Claims.

“It's two prong against the state,” explained Ferlazzo. “The first, there's a serious question as to whether this vehicle should've been allowed on the road. It could've been confiscated, there were multiple errors and it should've been confiscated so that's issue number one. Issue number two is the design and maintenance of this road. This was reconstructed in 2008 to avoid other problems which were serious. The improvements may have made things even worse.”

Ferlazzo said the limousine in the crash was insured. He said they now have four months to serve the Hussain’s with the lawsuit even with Shahed in Pakistan.

"There's even some kind of twitter sight in Pakistan that's identified that we've already sued, so he probably already knows that the suit is filed, I doubt he's coming back,” said Ferlazzo. “That's not going to stop us from moving forward."


WNYT Staff

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