The billionaire brother of the owner of the limousine company has been excluded from the lawsuits of Schoharie

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ALBANY — A state Supreme Court judge has officially dropped Pakistani billionaire developer Malik Riaz Hussain as a defendant in lawsuits brought by the families of victims of the fatal 2018 Schoharie limousine crash against his brother and the company that owns the limo.

Malik Riaz Hussain is one of Pakistan’s wealthiest businessmen and the older brother of Shahed Hussain, the owner of the stretched SUV limo involved in the accident, which killed 20 people on October 6, 2018.

The families of the victims sued Shahed Hussain and his son Nauman, who operated his father’s limo business at the time of the crash. Shahed Hussain was thought to be in Pakistan at the time and did not return to the United States

The families named Malik Riaz Hussain as a defendant under the theory that he funded his brother’s Saratoga County-based limo operation. Ultimately, however, no evidence could be found that he even knew about the company.

The families also named Mavis Discount Tire as a defendant because Mavis performed maintenance and a state safety inspection on the limo, a 2001 Ford Excursion that had been stretched to 34 feet to accommodate up to 20 people at a time. The crash was blamed by authorities on bad brakes that had not been properly maintained. The company has denied any wrongdoing.

Acting State Supreme Court Justice Denise Hartman signed an order on March 17 for Malik Riaz Hussain to be removed as a defendant. Hartman, who oversees the evidence sharing process, also known as discovery, for the prosecutions had previously rejected a similar offer from Mavis to be taken out of business.

Depositions in the cases, which will likely include the questioning of Mavis officials, are expected to begin in July and last through October.

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