SCHOHARIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The State of New York Supreme Court Appellate Division, Third Judicial Department has denied Mavis Discount Tire’s appeal to be dropped from civil lawsuits related to the fatal 2018 Schoharie limo crash. The decision was made on April 13.
The initial civil lawsuits against Mavis allege they were at fault for allowing the limousine to be out on the road. They further allege that Mavis botched the brake repairs in 2016 and again in 2018, but still gave Prestige Limousine an inspection sticker for the limo.
In 2021, the court denied the motion made by Mavis lawyers to be removed from the civil cases brought on by the families of the victims of the limo crash. As part of Mavis’ defense, they said the limo, a 2001 Ford Excursion XLT, was in such bad shape, that it isn’t their fault. According to Tom Mortati of Harding and Mazzotti, who represents the victims’ families, Mavis lawyers argued that Hussain performed what they call “criminal acts” after the limo left their service, and Mavis can’t be held responsible for his actions.
Mavis then appealed the 2021 court decision, but that decision was upheld. Thursday’s ruling leaves it in place so victim families’ lawyers can pursue punitive damages against Mavis. Mavis lawyers have yet to respond to NEWS10’s request for comment.
In regards to the civil cases, Mortati said they are still in the discovery process and defendant attorneys are currently deposing the plaintiff representatives. Once those are completed, the plaintiffs’ attorneys will pursue depositions from the defendant’s representative, which include Mavis and Nauman Hussain, the operator of the limo company.
The next status conference in the civil case is set for May 30. Hussain’s criminal trial is set to start on May 1 if his plea deal is not reinstated.