In 2009, while relocating a stolen Ferrari F50 held as evidence, FBI agent Fred Kingston lost control of the car and totaled the one-of-fifty-imported-into-the-U.S. exotic. The agent claimed a blown tire caused the accident, but the insurance company responsible for writing a check to the actual owner blamed it on negligence, accusing the FBI agent and a prosecutor of “joyriding” in the $750,000 supercar.
The insurance company, Motors Insurance, then filed suit against the U.S. government to recover its loss. After months of preparation from both sides, The Chicago Tribune reports that the case was dismissed by a U.S. District Court Judge yesterday.
Calling the wreck of the 1995 F50 Ferrari “certainly unfortunate,” U.S. District Court Judge Avern Cohn stated that federal law grants immunity if property is being held by law enforcement. That was the case with the Ferrari F50 in question, since it was in the FBI’s possession as part of an ongoing investigation.
Motors Insurance had argued that the car wasn’t actually in custody, since the insurance agency had given its permission for the government to hold the car in evidence. The judge negated the argument, saying that the FBI had possession to control and preserve relevant evidence.
The net result is this: an insurance company is $750,000 poorer, there’s one less Ferrari F50 in the world and FBI agent Fred Kingston probably won’t be getting the keys to any more exotic cars in the FBI’s possession.
Image credit: Wrecked Exotics