Insurance policy for limousine driver Schoharie paying victims $ 100,000

ALBANY – The insurance company of the driver of the limousine that crashed in Schoharie, killing 20, sent an insurance payment of $ 100,000 for the victims to the Albany court which is overseeing the civil litigation in this case.

The money paid by Progressive Insurance, which insured Scott Lisinicchia, will end up paying $ 5,266 to each of the 19 estates of the victims. No payment will be made to the estate of Lisinicchia, who was driving the limousine with 17 passengers on board when its brakes failed on October 6, 2018, sending the vehicle down a hill and into a parking lot where everyone in the vehicle and two pedestrians are dead.

The payment is only a fraction of the money victims’ families ultimately hope to get through litigation. But so far the agreed settlements have been modest. The other sum of insurance owed to the victims is a payment of $ 500,000 from Global Liberty Insurance Co. of New York, which had insured the Excursion and the limousine company, Prestige Limousine of Wilton.

In this case, attorneys for Global Liberty Insurance receive $ 18,243.50 of that $ 500,000, with the remainder going to the families of the victims, which will amount to approximately $ 24,087 each.

Right now, all but Lisinicchia’s family are guaranteed at least $ 29,353 in insurance payments from the limo company and Lisinicchia. This does not include any claims that families may have made on victims’ policies such as life insurance policies.

But families are asking for much higher compensation. Several sued New York State, members of the Hussain family who own Prestige Limousine, and Malik Riaz Hussain, a close relative of the Hussain family who lives in Pakistan and is said to sometimes provide financial support to relatives in New York. The estates are suing Mavis Discount Tire, who serviced the Excursion.

Civil litigation is coordinated by the Supreme Court of the State of Albany, where insurance payments are sent.

Cases could drag on for years and some defendants could eventually be removed from the case. Riaz Hussain, who has already answered questions in a statement made with an Urdu translator, asked the judge to remove him from the case.

Riaz Hussain is the founder of Bahria Town, which creates gated communities for middle class families in Pakistan. He is considered to be one of the richest men in Pakistan. He is the uncle of Nauman Hussain, who was running Prestige Limousine at the time of the crash. Nauman Hussain’s father, Shahed Hussain, was the legal owner of the business but left for Pakistan in early 2018 and never returned.

Nauman Hussain, 31, pleaded guilty earlier this month to 20 counts of criminally negligent homicide in exchange for a sentence that spares him jail time. His sentence includes five years of probation and 1,000 hours of community service. The young Hussain had been accused of not having maintained the brakes of the Excursion.

Longtime FBI informant Shahed Hussain has never been questioned by authorities after the crash, which remains the nation’s worst road transport disaster in more than a decade.

The families are suing the state Department of Transportation and the state Department of Motor Vehicles over alleged missteps that would have allowed the Hussains to continue renting the excursion to the public even after failing several roadside inspections of the DOT and that the vehicle has been removed from the road until repaired. . This trial is still pending before the obscure Claims Court where the public must sue the state and its agencies.

Schoharie County District Attorney Susan Mallery partially made the jail-free deal so Nauman Hussain would be free to testify in civil litigation cases.

Mavis is one of the most prominent defendants in these cases because State Police investigators uncovered evidence that a Mavis employee forged invoices for braking work that Nauman Hussain asked to do at the store. of Saratoga Springs. The district attorney’s office obtained video of Hussain’s interactions with Mavis employees, who affixed a state inspection sticker to the limo just months before the crash, even though the vehicle was not eligible for repair shop inspection.

Mavis has denied any wrongdoing.

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Justin D. O'Neill

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