The U.S. Justice Department has refused to pay $750,000 to a Michigan insurance company for a Ferrari that was wrecked in Kentucky while driven by an FBI agent.
In a recent response to a lawsuit in Detroit, the Justice Department insisted it’s immune to tort claims when certain goods are in the hands of law enforcement. The government refused to release most documents related to the crash.
The rare Ferrari F50 was stolen in 2003 from a dealer in Rosemont, Pa., and discovered five years later in Kentucky. The FBI kept it in Lexington, Ky., as part of an ongoing criminal investigation.
In May 2009, the Ferrari was being moved from a garage. Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Hamilton Thompson said he was invited to a “short ride” by FBI agent Fred Kingston.
“Just a few seconds after we left the parking lot, we went around a curve and the rear of the car began sliding,” Thompson said in an email released to Motors Insurance Co., the dealer’s insurer.
“The agent tried to regain control but the car fishtailed and slid sideways up onto the curb. The vehicle came to rest against a row of bushes and a small tree,” Thompson said.
He was not hurt but Kingston needed a few stitches for a cut on his head.
Motors Insurance told the government that the 1995 Ferrari, one of only 50 in the U.S., suffered substantial damage and is a “total loss.”