Paterson wrongful death lawsuit settled with $1.2 million payout | Paterson Times

Paterson wrongful death lawsuit settled with $1.2 million payout


The family of Randolph “Fid” Waddy, who was killed in a motorcycle crash in 2012 when two auxiliary police officers chased him on North 1st Street, received $1.2 million in the settlement of a wrongful death lawsuit.

Council members voted 6-0 to approve the settlement in the federal lawsuit filed by his mother Francine Warren on Tuesday night. Of the $1.2 million, the city is paying $315,316 and its excess insurance carrier is covering $884,684, according to municipal records.

The city spent $150,000 in legal fees in the case, said the city’s chief attorney Domenick Stampone.

The council held a closed-door meeting with its attorneys prior to approving the settlement in a special meeting. Council members approved the settlement without making any public comments.

Waddy of Garfield was killed on Apr. 17, 2012. He was on his motorcycle riding through North 1st Street when auxiliary officers Juan Martinez and Jonathan Lopez tried to pull him over. Martinez, the driver, and Lopez were closely following Waddy’s motorcycle from 100 feet or less, with their vehicle’s emergency siren blaring.

The two auxiliary officers saw the crash, but did not stop to render aid. And did not report the incident to their superiors.

Martinez received a five-year prison sentence in 2015 after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit official misconduct. Lopez, who pleaded guilty to hindering prosecution, received three-year probation and 150 hours of community service.

Lopez received the light punishment for cooperating with authorities. His cooperation was instrumental in uncovering the cover up that followed the tragic incident.

The city dissolved its auxiliary police force following the incident.

“Every time I ride down North 1st Street, I see that light, and I see my son in the ambulance fighting for his life,” wrote Warren in a letter that was read out loud at Martinez’s sentencing in 2015. “No one knows the hurt and the pain I feel. Although it has been almost three years, it seems to me like it happened just yesterday.”

Warren, the mother, died in May 2015, according to a family member.

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