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JAY'S BUS SERVICE AGREES TO PAY $75,000 IN DAMAGES AFTER BUS RUNS OVER CHILD'S FOOT, REMAINS ACTIVE IN 10 MORE LAWSUITS




Jay's Bus Service has recently agreed to a $75,000 out of court settlement over an incident where a bus driver drove a bus tire over a child's right foot, FAA News has learned.


The parents were represented by Roseland Attorney Stewart M. Leviss, Esq.


Their minor child was a passenger on a school bus owned by Jay's Bus Service. As the child was exiting the school bus, she fell to the ground. Harris then proceeded to drive the bus away, causing one or more of the bus tires to roll over the child's right foot.


According to the complaint:


At the aforementioned time and place, the bus driver was reckless, careless and negligent in the operation of the school bus truck.


Defendant Jay's Bus Service was negligent in entrusting the bus driver with the school bus and by not taking reasonable and necessary steps to ensure that he would operate the school bus in a safe manner.


As a direct and proximate result and consequence of defendants' conduct as aforesaid, the child sustained bodily injuries, loss of function, emotional distress, pain and suffering and loss of the enjoyment of life.


Defendant Jay's Bus Service is liable, by virtue of respondeat superior, for the negligence of the bus driver.


Jay's has now settled this case out of court for $75,000. Of this amount, $18,670.39 will go to attorney's fees, and $318.44 will go for actual disbursements, costs and expenses.


Jay's remains in litigation regarding a second lawsuit involving a minor.


A complaint filed in Superior Court in Ocean County on March 21, 2024 alleges that on January 8, 2024, A.S., a minor was assaulted by another student on their bus ride to Lakewood Piner Elementary School.


The complaint asserts that the bus company and driver had a duty to protect the minor and they failed in this regard.


Public records indicate that the bus company has settled five other lawsuits, and remains in litigation in nine additional lawsuits.


1) Elizabeth residents Valentina Garcia and Diomar Mejia filed suit in New Jersey Superior Court in Union County regarding a June 2023 crash on Oak Street near New Hampshire Avenue.


"Plaintiffs were seat belted passengers in one vehicle... Defendant Josef Garamszegi was the permissive operator of a commercial vehicle owned by Jay's Bus Service... defendants operated their vehicle in such a careless, reckless and negligent manner as to cause a collision with the motor vehicle occupied by the plaintiffs. As a direct result... plaintiffs suffered severe and permanent injuries... and will incur list wages and medical expenses," the Complaint filed by Newark Attorney Sean T. Payne Esq. states.


The matter was settled out of court. "The matter in difference in the above entitled action having been amicably adjusted by and between the parties, it is hereby stipulated and agreed that the same be and it is hereby dismissed with prejudice as to all parties," Mr. Payne wrote to the court.


2) Lakewood resident Rojalie Hunter, a minor, by way of her Guardian Ad Litem, Lesly Hunter, filed a lawsuit in Superior Court in Ocean County alleging that on or about March 21, 2022, while a passenger in a school bus vehicle driven by Jay's Bus driver William H. Grone, the driver collided with another vehicle on Madison Avenue south of 1st Street in Lakewood.


"The collision was caused by the recklessness, carelessness and negligence of the driver, for that among other acts and omissions, this Defendant: (a) operated the school bus vehicle at a high, dangerous and excessive rate of speed under the circumstances then and there existing; (b) failed to reduce speed to avoid a collision; (c) failed to observe due care and precaution and to maintain proper and adequate control of the school bus vehicle; (d) failed to keep a proper lookout for other vehicles lawfully upon the roadway; and (e) failed to exercise reasonable care in the operation of the school bus vehicle under the circumstances then and there existing.


"As a direct and proximate result of the negligence and carelessness of these Defendants, jointly, severally and individually, the Plaintiff: (a) suffered serious, painful and permanent bodily injuries, great physical pain and mental anguish, severe and substantial emotional distress, loss of the capacity for the enjoyment of life; (b) was, is and will be required to undergo medical treatment and to incur medical costs and expenses to alleviate injuries, pain and suffering; (c) was, is and will be precluded from engaging in normal activities and pursuits; and (d) otherwise was hurt, injured and caused to sustain losses," the Complaint filed by Wall Township Attorney Kenneth M. Harrell, Esq. states.


Judge James Den Uyl approved a $30,000 settlement in the matter.


3) On December 1, 2022, Lakewood resident Daniel Gelbahuer filed suit in Superior Court in Ocean County alleging that on November 5, 2020, while driving southbound on Madison Avenue in Lakewood, he was hit by Jay's Bus Service driver William T. Herres Jr.


"Defendant William T. Herres Jr. had a duty to drive carefully and safely on the public roadways, so as to avoid collisions. Defendants had a duty to maintain their vehicle in fair working order so that, when used, it may travel the public roadways in a reasonably safe manner. Defendants breached their duty, whether by failing to maintain the vehicle in safe working order or to drive in a safe manner, resulting in Defendant’s vehicle striking Plaintiff. Defendants’ breach caused Plaintiff to become injured as a result of the collision. As a direct and proximate result of the collision, Plaintiff suffered permanent injuries," the Complaint filed by Jersey City Attorney Dominick Succardi, Esq. alleges.


This suit was settled out of court.


4) In November 2022, Beachwood resident Simon Steven filed suit in Superior Court in Monmouth County alleging that on June 21, 2021, while driving on Vassar Avenue in Lakewood, bus driver James Hornung "negligently and carelessly operated said motor vehicle stop as to cause same to collide with the plaintiffs vehicle.


"As a direct and proximate result of the negligence of the defendant, plaintiff was caused to sustain serious permanent personal injuries requiring the care and treatment of physicians, hospitalization and medication and has been and will in the future continue to be hampered in her daily routine. Additionally he has been caused and will be caused to expend large sums of money for medical treatment necessary to effect a cure for his injuries; and, has been caused and will be caused to lose large sums of money due to his inability to pursue his usual occupation," the Complaint filed by Highland Park Attorney Harold J. Gerr Esq. states.


5) On October 4, 2022, Colts Neck residents Louis and Karin Roros filed suit in Superior Court in Monmouth County alleging that on October 6, 2020, Jay's Bus Service driver Eric T. Sanders violently rear ended the vehicle in which Karin was a passenger. As a result, that vehicle was caused to be pushed onto the vehicle in front of hers.


The three vehicle collision occurred on Route 520 in Marlboro Township. At the time of crash, the bus driver stated he was doing this particular bus run for the first time and did not know where he was going so he looked down at his paperwork when he rear ended Plaintiff’s vehicle, causing a sudden and violent collision to occur between the aforesaid vehicles.


"Defendant Eric T. Sanders failed to maintain a safe distance from Plaintiff’s vehicle and failed to pay attention to the road so as to cause the collision. As a direct and proximate result of the carelessness and negligence of the Defendants, the Plaintiff, Karin Roros, has been caused to sustain painful, disabling, severe and permanent bodily injuries that have not healed to normal functioning despite reasonable and necessary medical treatment and will not heal to normal functioning with future medical treatment, as well as the consequences of a violent shocking to her nervous system, which have continued to the present and which will in the future so continue, with concomitant pain, suffering, severe emotional distress, and hedonic damages of a substantial and permanent nature, and to incur significant medical expenses which she will continue to incur with the possibility of future surgery, and to incur the loss of past, present, and future income for which the Defendants should be held liable. As a direct and proximate result of the carelessness and negligence of the Defendants, the Plaintiff, Karin Roros, sustained bodily injuries that are permanent, have not healed to function normally and will not heal to function normally with further medical treatment," the Complaint filed by Englishtown Attorney Gary S. Shapiro, Esq. asserts.


A sixth lawsuit, involving a crash in Toms River, was recently dismissed.


On November 3, 2022, Toms River resident Christopher Hannon filed suit in Superior Court in Ocean County alleging that on December 3, 2020, while a pedestrian on Route 70, he was struck by Jay's Bus Service driver Samuel Valles.


"Said motor vehicle collision was the result of the negligence of the defendants. As a result of the crash, plaintiff was caused to incur severe injuries to his person, " the Complaint filed by Absecon Attorney Jeff Sheppard Esq. charges.


On August 9, 2023, Judge Craig L. Wellerson dismissed the case for failure to respond to discovery demands.


There are at least 9 additional lawsuits which remain pending against Jay's Bus Service.


1) A complaint filed in Superior Court in Middlesex County on April 5, 2024, alleges that on December 12, 2023, bus driver Tymir N. Owens crashed into Thomas E. King, while attempting to make an illegal U-turn through the median of Route 18, by using an emergency vehicle only access roadway. 


"The bus driver was likewise illegally using a cellular telephone while driving, and then pulled their bus out into the path of travel of the plaintiff’s vehicle, thereby causing the accident in question.


"King sustained serious and permanent injuries, was caused to suffer great pain and anguish and will, in the future, be caused to suffer great pain and anguish; was caused to lose time and wages from his employment and will, in the future, be caused to lose time and wages from his employment; was caused to incur medical treatment and expenses and will, in the future, be caused to incur medical treatment and 

expenses; the plaintiff has suffered severe, serious and permanent injuries," the complaint alleges.


The bus company has since moved the case to Monmouth County Superior Court.


2) A complaint filed in Superior Court in Monmouth County on February 23, 2024 alleges that on November 18, 2022, bus driver Maryannie Maldonado-rodriguez crashed into Juan J. Ramirez.


The incident, which occured on Madison Avenue in Lakewood, caused Ramirez to sustain severe physiological and psychological injuries, and medical expenses.


3) A complaint filed in Superior Court in Monmouth County on January 31, 2024 alleges that on March 11, 2022, bus driver David L. Gelberg crashed into Michelle N. Osborne, causing her to sustain serious personal injuries to her body from which she suffered great pain, to be prevented from working and to incur medical expenses.


4) On July 20, 2023, Lakewood resident Tisa Ryans filed suit in Superior Court in Ocean County alleging that on May 8, 2023, while lawfully stopped on Williams Street in Lakewood, Jay's Bus Service driver Nicholas L. Bonelli hit her from behind.


"As a direct and proximate result of the carelessness and negligence of defendants, plaintiff was caused to sustain severe and permanent physical injury, and/or an aggravation/exacerbation of a prior injury, as well as emotional anxiety, grief, and torment, has been caused and will in the future be caused to expend great sums of money in an effort to see a cure for her injuries, has been and will in the future be prevented from engaging in her usual pursuits and occupations, and has been caused and will in the future be caused to suffer a loss of enjoyment of life," the Complaint filed by Eatontown Attorney Norman M. Dobbie, Esq. alleges.


Jay's, who is represented in this matter by Jersey City Attorney Danielle M. DeGeorgio, Esq. answered the complaint "denying that it was negligent in any manner," and that "the Plaintiff was guilty of comparative negligence of a greater degree than the alleged negligence of the Defendant... and the Plaintiff was guilty of contributory negligence in failing to exercise due and proper care for her own safety considering the circumstances existing at the time of the alleged incident."


5)  On May 15, 2023, Monroe Township resident Leo Martin filed a lawsuit in Superior Court in Middlesex County alleging that on May 18, 2022, while driving on New Friendship Road in Howell, Jay's Bus Service driver Marla Katzelnick "operated said vehicle in a negligent and careless manner causing same to become involved in a collision with the motor vehicle which the plaintiff was driving."


"As a direct result of the carelessness and negligence of defendants, plaintiff was caused to suffer injuries to head, back, limbs and body; was caused to suffer - and will in the future suffer - great pain; was caused to incur - and will in the future be caused to incur - medical expenses; and was caused to suffer serious, severe and permanent injuries," the Complaint filed by Cranbury Attorney Patrick H. Cahalane Esq. states.


Jay's is represented in this matter by Woodbridge Attorney Matthew R. Panas, Esq. who has responded by demanding "a trial by jury of the within cause of action."


6) On May 3, 2023, Lakewood residents Felicitas and Gelson Cotto filed suit in Superior Court in Ocean County alleging that on June 13, 2022, while driving lawfully on New Hampshire Avenue, Jay's Bus Service driver Jayson Lebron "operated said motor vehicle in such a careless and negligent manner so as to cause a collision with the Plaintiff's vehicle."


"As a result of the carelessness and negligence of the defendants, plaintiff Felicitas Cotto was caused to sustain severe injuries, both temporary and permanent in nature, together with great pain and suffering as well as serious economic loss, and was prevented from transacting lawful business and affairs and had to expend sums for medical expenses, all of which are expected to continue into the future," the Complaint filed by Toms River Attorney Michael P. Cahill Esq. states.


Jay's is represented in this matter by Moorestown Attorney Thomas L. Wilkinson, Esq. who answered the complaint "denying the liability and negligence."


7) On January 27, 2023, Manchester Township resident Serena Jones filed suit in Superior Court in Ocean County alleging that on March 7, 2021, while stopped in traffic on a ramp from Brick Boulevard northbound onto Beaverson Boulevard westbound in Brick Township, Jay's Bus Service driver Alex Collazo struck the rear of her car.


"As the owner of the motor vehicle entrusted to Collazo, Jay's knew or should have known that Collazo was a reckless, incompetent and/or irresponsible operator. As a result of Jay's negligent entrustment of their motor vehicle to Collazo, he was negligently and recklessly permitted to operate said motor vehicle in a careless and negligent manner so as to cause Jones to sustain multiple severe and permanent injuries to her body and mind, was caused to suffer - and will in the future suffer - great pain; was caused to incur - and will in the future be caused to incur - medical expenses; has been and will continue to be unable to engage in her usual duties, occupation and activities, and was otherwise damaged," the Complaint filed by Wall Attorney James A. Maggs Esq asserts.


Jay's is represented in this matter by Moorestown Attorney Donald J. Bigley Esq.


8) On January 24, 2023, Toms River resident Robert Szambel filed suit in Superior Court in Ocean County alleging that on November 22, 2022, while lawfully operating his bicycle southbound on River Avenue in Lakewood, he was crashed into by Jay's Bus Service driver Tracy Hawk.


"As a direct and proximate result of the negligence of the defendants, plaintiff was injured, bruised, and wounded so that plaintiff became sick, sore, lame and disabled, and... permanently injured... prevented from attending his daily occupation, thereby losing sums of money... and has and will expend large sums of money in endeavoring to be cured of his injuries, and has endured and will continue to endure great pain and suffering and the quality of his life has been diminished," the Complaint filed by Toms River Attorney Michael Deem Esq. asserts.


Jay's is represented in this matter by Moorestown Attorney Donald J. Bigley Esq.


9) On December 1, 2021, Lakewood residents Silvia Martinez-Ramirez filed suit in Superior Court in Middlesex County alleging that on February 8, 2021, she was crashed into by Jay's Bus Service driver Clauter Marcelin. The crash occurred in Lakewood.


"As a result of the crash, injuries were suffered by the plaintiff. As a result of the aforesaid negligence, the plaintiff suffered severe injuries of both a temporary and permanent nature, endured great pain and suffering, was required to seek and obtain medical care and treatment in an effort to relieve pain and cure injuries and was otherwise incapacitated from activities," the suit filed by Bloomfield Attorney Mario A. Arrieta, Esq. charges.


This ongoing litigation remains very contentious.


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