The city council settled a lawsuit that stemmed from an accident a public works snowplow was involved in, according to city records.
Council members approved $1,800 to settle the claim during a special session Tuesday evening. Michardi Delgado’s vehicle was damaged by a city owned vehicle that was being operated by a public works employee.
“It was determined that the operator of the vehicle owned by the City of Paterson was at fault,” read the resolution approving the settlement.
The case was filed in the New Jersey Superior Court on June 3rd, 2015. Court records indicate the city defaulted on the case that led to the settlement which the city’s law director Domenick Stampone said is less than the damages the struck vehicle sustained.
Stampone said the court papers were served to the wrong address at the public works headquarters instead of the city clerk.
Council president William McKoy said he was unhappy with the way the notice was handle. He said any department head ought to know a legal document sent to them should be directed to the city’s law department.
Stampone raised doubt whether the notice was ever served. “There was no production of any kind of certification of service,” he said. He said the city could have re-opened the case, but he indicated that would have increases litigation costs.
“What are they going to do with the employee?” asked Ruby Cotton, 4th Ward councilman. “If they are at fault it seems to me someone needs to…”
Stampone said the accident happened on a narrow street.
“We’re saving some money because it’s less than the damages they left,” said the law director.