Saturday, June 11, 2011

Pay up

The Justice Department is refusing to pay $750,000 in damages to the insurance company that owns a 1995 Ferrari F50 supercar (one of only 50 in the U.S.) after FBI Special Agent Fred Kingston totaled it while ostensibly "moving it to a different garage", prompting the company to file a lawsuit seeking to be compensated for its loss.

The car had been recovered five years after had been reported stolen (and the insurance company had paid out the claim, thus taking ownership), and the FBI had custody of it pending the outcome of the criminal investigation.  No problem there, and of course such items have to be moved from time to time.

But -

Kingston had thought it a good idea to invite his good buddy Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Hamilton Thompson along for the joyride "short ride", and according to Thompson's email detailing the incident they were just moseying along, no doubt like a couple of grandmas out for a Sunday drive, when "Just a few seconds after we left the parking lot, we went around a curve and the rear of the car began sliding" and they and the car ended up wrapped around a tree and some bushes.

(Pictures are from the article)

Why are we not terribly convinced that these two were doing nothing more than ferrying evidence from one garage to another?  Oh, probably from Justice's blatant stonewalling of the insurance company: 

"The Justice Department recently responded to the lawsuit  by saying it is not liable for certain goods when they're in the hands of law enforcement. 

The government also has refused to release most documents related to the crash, saying most records are exempt."

Of course they are.  How convenient.

The case is scheduled to be tried this month.  We will be very interested to learn just how the government is going to argue that it should enjoy immunity from the very kind of obvious liability it so often goes after private companies for criminally shirking.


Crotalus (Don't Tread on Me) said...

Samme way as always: sovereign immunity, which is, "Nyah, nyah, nyah nyah, nyah, you can't touch me! I can do any damn thing I want!"

Tam said...

Who's gonna make 'em pay? The government?

Let's play masters and servants!

Bike Bubba said...

I'm stunned that anyone would suggest that these agents were doing anything wrong. Don't Z rated tires purchased by the supercar manufacturer always break free when someone is rounding a corner at 10mph?

The Commander said...

Yes, if they, you know, punch the accel on a 513-hp engine in a 2700 pound car. Clearly these guys had exactly zero experience with high-HP, low pound/HP situations. hell, if you ever drove a VW or a Prosche you know to be extrememly careful with something like this.

The Freeholder said...

Just a few seconds after they left the lot, eh? In an F50? A car that can do 0-60 in about 3.8 seconds?

One has to wonder just how fast they were going in that few seconds before they found the curve, doesn't one?

Bike Bubba said...

Yes, they were moving, but keep in mind that a good sports sedan will do that same 0-60 in about six or seven seconds. it's not like the Ferrari should have taken them completely by surprise.

Unless, of course, they WANTED to be taken by surprise, which is my bet.