A Chester family’s tragedy has been turned into a massive win for the parents of a boy who lost the function of his legs and right arm after an automobile accident. According to NJ.com, the child, now 12, was struck by a van owned by the Delbarton School when the child was 5. The child, Daniel Matakitis, was riding his bike over at his grandparents home when the van backed out of Daniel’s grandparent’s driveway, striking him. To add to the family tragedy, Daniel’s grant-uncle was the driver of the van.
The great-uncle worked as a driver for the Delbarton School, private Catholic school in Morristown. The grandparents of Danile Matakitis typically babysat Daniel twice a week as he was growing up. Daniel’s mother lived in Chester while Daniel’s father lived in East Hanover. The grandparents and great-uncle are Daniel’s paternal relatives.
The incident caused a great division between the family. Daniel’s mother and father sued the Delbarton School, Daniel’s great-uncle, and Daniel’s grandparents for damages. After seven years, the case was finally settled at Morristown Superior Court. Both the prosecution and defense agreed to a $20 million settlement for Daniel and his parents from the Delbarton School. An additional $500,000 was given to Daniel and his parents from the private insurers of Daniel’s great-uncle and grandparents.
Although a settlement had been reached, indications of how the family has communicated over the last seven years were unclear. The only comment to come from the case came from the attorney of Daniel’s grandparents who simply stated that the case was, “very sad”.
Visit NJ.com to read the full report.