A transportation company has filed a lawsuit against the Paterson Public Schools alleging a breach of contract.
Passaic City-based Joshua Tours alleges the district failed to make payments during the coronavirus pandemic.
Schools had closed in late March because of the virus outbreak.
“The law makes it mandatory for New Jersey school districts to pay school bus contractors under their existing agreements as if the services had been provided,” states the lawsuit filed on Monday.
Joshua Tours cites a legislation governor Phil Murphy signed into law during the pandemic that require districts to pay “as if the school facilities had remained open.”
The bus company continued to “incur fixed costs” such as equipment, financing, rent, insurance, payroll, utilities, GPS services, and fuel expenses, says the lawsuit.
The lawsuit was filed by Joshua Tours and J&W Financial. It does not state how much the district owes.
Attorneys for Joshua Tours could not immediately be reached for comments on Wednesday morning.
“We have not been formally served. We cannot comment on pending litigation,” said Paul Brubaker, spokesman for the school district.
School officials had worried at a public meeting some companies might try to take advantage of both the school district and the federal government. For example, a firm could be collecting payments from the district while also collecting money from the federal payroll protection program, they said at the public meeting without mentioning any vendors.
The lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount in damages.
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Updated 10:15 a.m.