Union City cop files tort claim against 4 agencies for ‘negligence’ during fatal crash

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A Union City police captain has filed a tort claim, for an undetermined amount, against four county agencies for alleged “negligence” during a fatal crash where he sustained “serious and permanent injuries.” 

Union City accident

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Due to the potential defendants’ negligence, third part[y] motorcyclists were able to access the closed off area and strike Capt. Botti,” West Orange attorney Raja Bhattacharya wrote in a December 5th letter copied to the county prosecutor’s  and sheriff’s offices, as well as the Weehawken Police Department and North Hudson Regional Fire & Rescue.

“More specifically, as a result of your negligence, and that of your employees and/or agents, Capt. Botti suffered injuries to his torso and extremities due to a motor vehicle accident that occurred during the fatality investigation.”

Back on October 4th, a Union City Department of Public Works truck fatally struck a teen near the intersection of 30th Street and Palisade Avenue.

During the subsequent investigation, two motorcyclists sped through the active crime scene, with Ricardo Suazo, 25, of Paterson, striking four Union City police officers, three of them injured seriously, authorities said at the time.

Also in the tort claim, Bhattacharya says his client sustained “permanent” injuries as a result of the motorcycle crash.

“As a result of aforementioned incident, Captain Joseph Botti has suffered serious and permanent injuries as a result of the consequences of the acts of the defendants. Capt. Botti is undergoing further medical treatment,” he wrote.

“Further evaluations will be occurring treater information for that treatment will be provided in due course.”

Bhattacharya further states that an amount is yet to be determined since his client’s medical treatment is ongoing.

Additionally, while the Union City and North Bergen Police Departments, who were on the scene at the October 4th accident, aren’t named, the claim leaves the door open for “other agencies and their agents, servants and/or employees.”

Spokesmen for the prosecutor’s and sheriff’s offices did not return emails seeking comment, while reps for the Weehawken Police Department and NHRF&R could not be reached on Monday morning.