Plaintiffs alleged bus inspectors had targeted their buses at Atlantic City casinos for abusive inspections because of their race and conspired with a tow truck operator to illegally impound one of their buses. Although stops for safety inspections are supposed to be random, statistical evidence developed for the plaintiffs showed plaintiffs’ buses were five times more likely to be picked for inspections than other buses.
After detailed preparation for trial, the Plaintiffs successfully concluded the case in September 2012 with a settlement. Under the Settlement, the State of New Jersey will pay plaintiffs $975,000 and the New Jersey Motor Vehicles Commission agrees to practices in the conduct of future inspections which are designed to curb the abuses alleged in the complaint. Bus owners will have the right to request a photograph of any defect claimed to be found by an inspector which results in a ticket for a fine. Another provision limits the number of Friday nights on which inspections can be held in Atlantic City to no more than nine per year. Other provisions govern how the inspections are to be conducted, and expand notice to bus operators of the complaint procedures available to them. The Department also agreed to change the training for all of its certified bus inspectors. Finally, Mr. Major recovered $25,000 held in escrow as part of the dispute with the two truck operators over the seizure of his bus.
Settlement Agreement Reached
We filed a complaint against the New Jersey Department of Transportation and the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission
The Public Interest Law Center and Dechert LLP Join the Case
Case Originally Filed