$915K Settlement in Transit Bus Crash


Anderson v. New Jersey Transit: A Passaic County settlement, reached in a suit by a passenger in a vehicle struck by a public transit bus, was approved by the state on Feb. 9.
In January 2014, Diana Anderson was a passenger in her own vehicle, being driven by her boyfriend, Edwin Kozak, in the right lane of northbound New Jersey Route 23 in West Milford, according to her lawyer, Edward Capozzi of Brach Eichler in Roseland.
A New Jersey Transit bus coming from a cross street, Old Route 23, struck Anderson's vehicle on the side. Anderson sustained fractures to her upper right arm and ribs on both sides, as well as torn ligaments in her right knee, all of which necessitated surgeries, Capozzi said.
Anderson, presently 51, was recommended to have a total replacement of the right knee, he said.
The suit claimed the bus, driven by Ana Mendez, ran a stop sign at the intersection. Kozak also was named as a defendant, said Capozzi, who noted that the issue of whether Kozak had time to brake or swerve to avoid the collision was raised in the case.
Discovery was completed, and the case was nearing trial when the parties settled, on Nov. 16, 2016, during mediation with retired Essex County Superior Court Judge Ned Rosenberg, of Trenk, DiPasquale, Della Fera & Sodono in West Orange, according to Capozzi.
NJ Transit agreed to pay $900,000, and Progressive, which covered Anderson's vehicle, agreed to pay her full $15,000 policy.
NJ Transit's counsel, Thomas Hart of Ruprecht Hart Weeks & Ricciardulli in Westfield, didn't return a call about the case.
Neither did Kozak's counsel, Debra Fascia of Kent/McBride's Cherry Hill office.