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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
BRYSON CITY DIVISION
In the Matter of
WILLIAM C. HAMMEL, |
ALAN J. BELLAMENTE, |
et al., | AFFIDAVIT OF
Plaintiffs | PATRICIA A. BUSER
| No. 2:99:CV-44-T
STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE |
INSURANCE CO., |
STATE FARM INDEMNITY COMPANY, |
et al. |
AFFIDAVIT OF PATRICIA A. BUSER:
Patricia Buser, being duly sworn, declares and deposes:
1. I am an adult over the age of 18, and am not a party to this
action. I have personal knowledge of all of the following
and if called upon to testify upon the truth of thereof
2. My name is Patricia A. Buser and I live at 15 Scott Court,
Ridgefield Park, New Jersey.
3. I have had 29 years of professional management experience.
4. I have known William Hammel and Alan Bellamente since 1993.
5. As their friend, I became involved in the operation of,
then, Alan Bellamente's video rental business, Ultra Videos,
in Ridgefield Park, NJ, in August 1993, and remained involved
after Mr. Bellamente sold the business to Mr. Hammel.
6. At that time both Mr. Bellamente and Mr. Hammel were totally
active in the operation of that store, Mr. Hammel operating that
store days, while Mr. Bellamente operated his Rochelle Park store,
and Mr. Bellamente operating the Ridgefield Park store evenings.
7. Both men worked very hard at making the store the success that
it became. Mr. Bellamente was, at that time, recovering from the
effects of an automobile accident which he'd had in 1992.
8. Again, as a friend, I offered to operate the store on
Thursday evenings so that Mr. Bellamente and Mr. Hammel could
attend hypno-therapy sessions for Mr. Bellamente, and at certain
other times so that both men could have some time to rest.
9. From my vantage point, in operating Ultra Videos on that basis,
I was able to see, first hand, how rapidly the business was
growing, and how quickly the customer base was multiplying.
10. After their automobile accident in September 1994, I would
frequently stop at Ultra Videos on my way home from work, and
operate the store for about an hour, to allow Msrs. Hammel
and Bellamente to leave for chiropractic treatments with
11. It was apparent to me that both Msrs. Hammel and Bellamente
were having physical difficulty in performing certain tasks in
the store. They told me they were getting necessary medical
treatments, and they were functioning as best they could while
12. During this period, Ultra Videos continued to grow and
thrive because of the personal attention lavished on the
customers by all three of us, Msrs. Hammel and Bellamente, and me.
13. In September, 1995, at a time when Mr. Bellamente was to
have had surgery for a neck problem, and Mr. Hammel was supposed
to have had physical therapy and seen a neurologist they told
me that their insurance company payments for their injuries had
been stopped, and that Mr. Bellamente would not be having
surgery and Mr. Hammel would have to curtail his medical attention.
14. After that time, both gentlemen became increasingly unable to
function in their respective jobs as owner and as manager of
15. I "covered" for them when time permitted, but they frequently
had to close the store during the day, while I was at work. This
caused many customers to arrive to rent a movie, only to find a
note stating that store was closed because of medical necessity.
16. I was aware that, because of their worsening physical and
mental conditions, they had to sell the business, and assisted
them in training the people who had agreed to but it, Mr. and
Mrs. Kenneth Kiley
17. I was also aware that, because of their financial setbacks,
they had been unable to pay the rent on the store for a number
of months, and that they had an oral agreement with the landlord
that he would accept the back rent from proceeds of the sale.
18. I was aware of drastic physical and emotional changes in both
men, and I was seriously worried and concerned for their physical
and emotional well being.
19. I was aware that they were moving to Robbinsville, North Carolina
to put themselves in a place where, hopefully, they could recover
20. They told me that they had left all the details for the
consummation of the sale of the business in the hands of their
attorney John Gavejian, since they were leaving New Jersey on
February 11th, 1995.
21. A few days before Msrs. Hammel and Bellamente were to leave,
the landlord had the store padlocked, and thereafter none of us
could get in to retrieve any of our belongings that were left
PATRICIA A. BUSER
Ridgefield Park, New Jersey
PATRICIA A. BUSER, personally came before me and stated
to my satisfaction that this person: (a) was the maker of the
attached instrument; and (b) executed this instrument as his
My Commisiion Expires:
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Uncivilization and its Discontents
Email me, Bill Hammel at
bhammel AT graham DOT main DOT nc DOT us
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Created: February 4, 2000
Last Updated: May 28, 2000