SCHOHARIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The judge who rejected a plea deal for the operator of the limo company involved in the 2018 Schoharie limousine crash must explain his decision in court on December 5.

Judge Peter Lynch is now facing a lawsuit from the company’s operator, Nauman Hussain. Lynch tossed out a plea deal reached by a previous judge that allowed Hussain to avoid prison time.

Lynch argued Hussain should spend time in prison and offered 16 months to four years in jail or go to trial. The defense chose to go to trial, which is tentatively scheduled to start in May.

Twenty people died as a result of the limousine crash on October 6, 2018. Hussain is accused of not properly maintaining the Ford Excursion limousine. The limo, according to court documents, suffered from “catastrophic brake failure” that day.

In September 2021, Hussain pleaded guilty to 20 counts of criminally negligent homicide. In addition to probation from his previous plea deal, he is also prohibited from owning, operating, or working for any commercial transportation business.