Two lawsuits tied to a May 2018 crash that resulted in the death of a teacher and a student in Morris County, New Jersey, settled for nearly $20M, reported Patch News.
The tragic incident reportedly occurred five years ago when a Paramus Public Schools bus crashed on Route 80. The school bus driver Hudy Muldrow Sr., 77 years old at the time, is serving up to a 10-year prison sentence for making an illegal U-turn in the middle of the interstate and causing a dump truck to strike the bus. Muldrow was driving students from East Brook Middle school to Waterloo village on a field trip.
Morris County Prosecutor’s Office said Muldrow, who has a long history of driving trouble, is accused of turning sharply in an attempt to drive across all lanes of traffic to reach an official-use-only turn-around in the median.
The impact separated the bus body from the chassis.
Ten-year-old Mirada Vargas died in the crash as did Jennifer Williamson, 51, a fifth-grade teacher. The crash injured 43 additional students and staff members, including Asher Majeed, who suffered “severe, grievous, permanent and painful” injuries, was placed on a ventilator and spent two weeks in a coma with a feeding tube.
According to court documents, Paramus Public Schools agreed to a $7 million settlement with the family of Vargas. The district also reached a $12.5 million settlement with the family of Majeed.
Bruce Nagel, who represented both families, said that the Vargas settlement is one of the largest infant death settlements in New Jersey.
Muldrow pleaded guilty in 2019 to five counts of fourth-degree assault by auto, one count of disorderly persons assault by auto, and endangering the welfare of children.
Nagel said his firm is still pursuing the case against the dump truck company Mendez Trucking.
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