Never do anything to get your car held by the FBI. That’s the lesson one insurance company learned recently. If the federal government holds on to your property and loses it, damages it, or alters it, you have no recourseÂ—at least that’s what a district court judge said.
According to Yahoo!, the FBI was in possession of a rare 1995 F50 Ferrari after the car was stolen. The car was being held as evidence for the theft case. FBI Agent Fred Kingston, along with U.S. Assistant Attorney J. Hamilton Thompson, took the $750,000 car out for a joyride. With Kingston at the wheel, he lost control of the car and crashed into some bushes and a tree.
Motor Insurance sued for damages saying the car was not held because the company allowed the FBI to hold the car until trial. The judge disagreed saying, “The government’s purpose in holding the vehicle was not to create a status of either consent or punitive coercion. … Rather, the object was to control and preserve relevant evidence.” The judge also said federal law enforcement officers are immune from lawsuits if the property is being held.
Although this story is shocking, it is also a problem. The FBI agent never should have taken the car out for a drive. It’s not his car to drive recklessly. The attorney should have definitely stayed out of the car. It is also striking because the law, according to the judge, allows a federal agent to do what he or she wants with someone’s property without recourse.
(Photo Source: Flickr)