On March 10, 2016, the Borough of Tenafly (Bergen County) agreed to pay $550,000 to an Alpine man who said he suffered significant injuries after having been been involved in a car accident with a police cruiser.

In his lawsuit, Anthony Perez said that on April 21, 2012 he was driving southbound on Sylvan Boulevard when he was struck by a police cruiser driven by Police Officer Brandon M. Moriarty who was driving northbound on the same road.  No further information is given about the circumstances of the accident.

The case is captioned Perez v. Borough of Tenafly, et al, Bergen County Superior Court Docket No. BER-L-8605-13 and Perez’s attorney was Robert B. Linder of Englewood.  Case documents are on-line here.

None of lawsuit’s allegations have been proven or disproven in court.  Settlement agreements typically state that payment does not constitute an admission of wrongdoing by any of the defendants.  All that is known for sure is that Tenafly or its insurer, for whatever reason, decided that it would rather pay Perez $550,000 than take the matter to trial. Perhaps the defendants’ decision was done to save further legal expense and the costs of trying what were in fact exaggerated or meritless claims. Or, perhaps the claims were true and the defendants wanted to avoid being embarrassed at trial. This is the problem when cases resolve before trial–it is impossible to know the truth of what really happened.

Chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Open Government Advocacy Project. Please send all comments to [email protected]