The driver, Charles Polevich, 70, is accused of striking Robert Maraj, 64, when he was crossing the street on Long Island on Feb. 12 and then driving off without calling 911. Maraj died at a hospital the next day.
Mr. Polevich was later arrested on February 17 on charges of leaving the scene of an incident and tampering with physical evidence. He pleaded not guilty and was freed on bail and ordered not to leave New York state.
Over the weekend, a $150 million lawsuit was filed on behalf of Nicki’s mother, Carol Maraj, against the driver in the Supreme Court of the State of New York by Ben Crump Law.
“After striking Maraj, (Charles) Polevich left the accident scene and did not call for emergency services or render aid to Maraj,” Crump wrote. “He was not only irresponsible and negligent, but more concerned about running away and hiding than seeking help.
“Polevich’s behavior was criminal, cowardly, and immoral. We will hold him responsible for his reckless actions that led to Robert Maraj’s death!”
Polevich’s attorney, Marc C. Gann of Collins, Gann, McCloskey & Barry PLLC, shared a statement with USA TODAY on behalf of his client.
“Mr. Polevich has expressed empathy and condolences to the Maraj family. While the civil suit is not unexpected, the criminal charges pending against Mr. Polevich have no bearing on the civil case. It has yet to be determined whether there was any negligence involved in the accident or the degrees of any negligence,” the statement says. “I will add that the amount demanded is shocking to say the least and I don’t believe is in any way reasonable.”
Nicki Minaj, who was born Onika Tanya Maraj, has not made any public statement on her father’s death.