$1M for Auto Accident

McKenzie v. Pereira: A Bayonne man allegedly injured while a passenger in a van that was hit by a drunken driver will receive just over $1 million in settlement of his suit. On April 2, 2011, Kenneth McKenzie, then 48, was riding in a van that was hit from behind by a car driven by defendant Eric Pereira, 21, of Jackson, said McKenzie’s attorney Steven Haddad. Pereira had been work- ing as an assistant for David Todd Photography of Marlboro at an event at the Rockleigh Country Club in Rockleigh, and had been served at least four cocktails before leaving, said Haddad, who handled the case with Nehal Modi, an associate in his Edison law office. McKenzie’s van was in the southbound lanes of the Garden State Parkway when it was struck by Pereira’s. The van hit a guardrail, flipped over and skidded into the southbound express lanes, where it collided with another car, driven Keith Wegle of Toms River, who also by was injured. The van’s driver, 43, of Middletown, died Kevin in Donnelly the crash and a third occupant Small of Middetown, of also the was van, At the time of the Pereira had a blood-alcohol accident, 123 percent (the legal cent). He presently is year sentence after serving to one count of and three counts vehicular of assault pleading limit is.08 homicide Haddad said. by a level injured. seven- guilty auto, Erin per- of McKenzie suffered requiring cervical spine spine knee surgeries microdiscectomy, on both fusion, shoulder surgery, Haddad knees arthroscopic The suit, filed in County Superior Court, mediation before Court Judge John retired with Red Bank’s Keefe Haddad said. Keefe settled Monmouth said. Sr., Superior Bartels, injuries and lumbar after now left Rockleigh’s carrier, Peerless Co., paid $850,000 on on May 5, the carrier April for 21, Pereira, and Ins. High Point Ins. Co., agreed to $100,000, while David Todd’s car- pay rier, New Donnelly’s Hampshire carrier, Co., agreed to pay Progressive Ins. $50,000 Co., Ins. and and $2,000, respectively, The case had been Haddad Superior Court Judge Katie assigned but no trial date had been set. Gummer, said to Peerless retained Jack of Chatham’s Maloof, Connahan & Oleske. High Lebowitz, Maloof, Point assigned the case to its in-house counsel, Elaine Brennan, of Morganville office of Debra New Hampshire retained Christopher Hart. the Connover, of Demers & McManus. Morristown’s ssigned the case to its Progressive Ahmuty, in-house ounsel, Gary Nitsberg, of faren & Nitsberg in turned telephone calls Iselin. Cooper None

-By Michael Booth