SARATOGA COUNTY -- The estate of another victim in last year's deadly Schoharie limousine crash has filed a lawsuit against the limo company, its owner and operator, and Mavis Discount Tire.
The lawsuit was filed last Friday in state Supreme Court in Saratoga County by the state of Amanda D. Halse of Fort Ann.
Halse, who was 26 and worked as a server, bartender and supervisor at Shaker Pointe at Carondelet, a retirement community in Watervliet, was one of the 17 passengers in a stretch limousine that crashed at the intersection of state routes 30 and 30A on Oct. 6, 2018. The passengers in the vehicle -- all adults -- were on their way to a birthday celebration in Cooperstown. All were killed, along with the driver and two pedestrians.
The lawsuit seeks damages from Shahed Hussain as owner of Prestige Limousine of Wilton, which also sometimes did business as Hasy Limousine and Saratoga Luxury Limousine; Nauman A. Hussain, his son and the day-to-day operator of the company; Malik Riaz Hussain, Shahed's brother and a possible investor in the company; and Mavis.
Shahed Hussain, a native of Pakistan, was out of the country when the crash occurred and has not returned; Malik Riaz Hussain, who is a resident of Pakistan but was legal owner of the Wilton motel property where the limo company was based.
"The Hussain defendants knew or should have known that the 2001 Ford Excursion limousine was not in a reasonably safe operating condition due to the existence of numerous mechanical defects," the lawsuit alleges.
The case was filed in Saratoga County because that's where the businesses involved are located, according to the filing.
Nauman Hussain faces criminal charges of second-degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, based on charges that he failed to properly maintain the stretched 2001 Ford Expedition, leading to its suffering a catastrophic brake failure as it came down the Route 30 hill and approached the Route 30A stop sign, which it went through at high speed before crashing.
"Due to the violent and sudden impact of the 2001 Ford Excursion limousine, the decedent Amanda D. Halse, who was a passenger in said limousine, suffered pre-impact fear and terror, conscious pain and suffering including physical, mental and emotional suffering, and ultimately death," state the court papers filed by attorney George E. LaMarche III of Albany.
There are now nearly a dozen lawsuits brought by the estates of crash victims to date, with more expected.
Several other lawsuits also have named Mavis Discount Tire, where the limousine was serviced and given a state inspection, even though Mavis wasn't authorized to inspect a vehicle that carries that many passengers.
The lawsuit says that at some point between January 2018 and the crash date, "defendant Mavis Discount performed certain repairs that it knew were temporary and insufficient to remedy the defects existing in the limousine, including the power steering and braking systems."
Mavis has expressed sympathy for the victims, but blamed the limo company and said it has no legal responsibility for the crash.