legal services in new jersey

Craig Hubert Leads Szaferman Lakind Team to $1.530M Settlement for Officer’s Family

Craig J. Hubert, Esq

Szaferman Lakind Quarterly Newsletter – Fall 2015 Edition

In August 2008, two (2) North Brunswick police officers were involved in an automobile crash on U.S. 130 South, in Middlesex County, N.J. The officer in the passenger seat, a North Brunswick Lieutenant, represented by Szaferman Lakind, lost his life, leaving behind his wife and two children, ages 4 and 7.

On-duty officer North Brunswick Lieutenant Keith Buckley operated the vehicle, a 2006 Dodge Viper, that had been rented by his brother from Exotic Car Rentals of New Jersey. Prior to returning the high-performance vehicle, Lt. Buckley picked-up a fellow on-duty officer at lunchtime and proceeded to head southbound on Route 130 at a speed experts found to be in excess of 90mph.

As it descended a Route 130 entrance ramp, the Dodge Viper lost directional control, left the roadway, traveled across the asphalt berm and struck a guiderail and then ultimately a utility pole at approximately 45mph. Within an hour of the crash, our client was pronounced dead at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital from a fatal head injury.

In February 2014, the driver of the rented Dodge Viper, Lt. Buckley, was sentenced in NJ Superior Courpleading guilty to third-degree official misconduct. As a condition of his guilty plea, Buckley forfeited his job, his right to hold public office and his police pension.

Attorney Craig Hubert, Partner, spearheaded a team of Szaferman Lakind attorneys and recently secured a civil settlement of $1,530,000 for the deceased officer’s wife, including $250,000 for each of their two minor sons. Attorney Hubert’s civil suit alleged claims against the State of New Jersey, Exotic Car Rentals and the utility pole owner (alleging it was on the wrong site of the guardrail).

Hubert commented, “I am most pleased to achieve yet another success for families of law enforcement officers that have been victimized by acts of negligence and other wrongful conduct.”