SAIPAN — Rommel Irang has sued Eduardo Fabia and Artman Corp. for reckless, careless and negligent driving, filing the lawsuit in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Superior Court.
Irang, represented by attorney Victorino Torres, has asked the court for an order awarding him damages including future loss of earnings and medical expenses. He is also asking the court for an order directing the parties to engage in mandatory mediation.
Torres said, "In the event the mandatory mediation is unsuccessful, plaintiff by this request hereby demands a jury trial on all issues so triable by jury."
Irang was one of the two passengers of a Honda Ridgeline pickup truck that collided with an Artman garbage compactor truck driven by Fabia on Feb. 1 at the Puerto Rico-Middle Road intersection on Saipan.
Irang sustained serious injuries, while the other passenger, Raju Miah, was declared dead on arrival at the hospital.
The two passengers were riding in the bed of the Honda Ridgeline and were thrown from the vehicle during the collision, the CNMI Department of Public Safety said.
According to the lawsuit, on or about Feb. 1, Quin Manglona was at the traffic light intersection on Chalan Pale Arnold or Middle Road, Puerto Rico. The plaintiff was a passenger in the bed of Manglona's truck.
As Manglona proceeded north, he came to a complete stop at the traffic intersection with the intent to turn left toward the marina, the lawsuit stated.
This intersection is in the Puerto Rico area. When the left arrow turned green, he proceeded to enter the intersection, the lawsuit added.
At that same time and in the same area, Fabia was driving a southbound Artman truck when he ran the red light and hit Manglona's vehicle in the intersection, the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit also alleged the following:
• Fabia was driving faster than the posted speed limit of 45 miles per hour.
• Fabia increased his speed as he approached the intersection.
• When Fabia entered the intersection he was driving at a speed above 50 miles per hour.
Fabia, "without exercising caution and due care, violently struck Manglona's vehicle causing serious personal injuries to Irang and total loss to Manglona's vehicle," the lawsuit stated, adding that prior to the collision, Fabia never applied his brakes.
"As a direct and proximate result of Fabia's recklessness, carelessness and negligence," Torres said, "Plaintiff suffered and continues to suffer intense and excruciating pain, serious physical injuries, emotional and mental anguish and distress, and diminished quality of life and has suffered and will continue to suffer economic damages and noneconomic damages."
Fabia's employer, Artman Corp., was sued by the plaintiff for vicarious liability.
The CNMI Attorney General's Office has filed a separate traffic case against Fabia, who was charged with traffic signal violations, false report, homicide by vehicle, reckless driving and speeding.
Fabia was set to appear before Superior Court Presiding Judge Robert Naraja on Thursday for a preliminary hearing.