PATERSON, NJ – A 1st Ward resident who was severely injured in 2009 when her car was hit by a city-owned pickup truck could get as much as $211,500 in a lawsuit settlement, according to municipal documents.
The woman, Margaret Bailey, was turning into the driveway of her Garfield Avenue home at about 4:20 pm on Feb. 4, 2009 when public works employee Vernon Perry crashed into the side of her car, according to court documents and interviews with city officials.
Perry though Bailey was making a left and tried to pass her on the right when he hit her vehicle, officials said. The damage to the car was just $1,600, but Bailey ended up with almost $300,000 in medical bills for neck injuries, officials said. Bailey had a pre-existing injury that apparently was exacerbated by the crash, officials said.
A court arbitrator has found that Bailey is entitled to $211,500, officials said. That’s the size of the settlement approved by the city council on September 4. But the council changed its position in a new vote on September 11. That resolution did not set a specific amount for the settlement.
Paterson Corporation Counsel Paul Forsman told the council on Tuesday that the city’s lawyers believed they could reach a settlement for an amount lower than the $211,500.
Bailey now lives on Presidential Boulevard, according to her lawsuit.