Bergen Auto Case Nets $750,000

Hayes v. Amerifleet Transportation: A woman who required spinal surgery after a rear-end accident received payment of a $750,000 settlement in her Bergen County suit on Dec. 10, 2016.

Susan Hayes of Ridgewood was driving to work on the Garden State Parkway in October 2013 when she slowed down due to traffic congestion and was struck from behind by a car driven by Chacara Williams.

At the time of the accident, Williams was an agent of AmeriFleet Transportation, a company that transports customers’ vehicles, said Hayes’ lawyer, Kristofer Petrie of Brach Eichler in Roseland.

Williams said she was attempting to tune the car’s radio at the time of the crash, Petrie said.

Hayes sustained multiple disc herniations to her neck and required a cervical fusion surgery, but still experiences pain, Petrie said. She filed suit against Amerifleet and Williams.

After an unsuccessful mediation before former Superior Court Judge Joseph Conte, of Nowell P.A. in Hackensack, in May 2016, the parties agreed on Nov. 11, 2016, to settle for $750,000.

Atlantic Highlands attorney Lorne Reiter, who was retained by Amerifleet’s carrier, Carolina Casualty, to represent the company and Williams, did not return a call seeking comment.

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