U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn has ruled that a lawsuit against the government of the United States be dismissed, citing a federal law which provides immunity to the FBI when the property in question is being held by law enforcement.
The property in question for this case is a destroyed Ferrari worth $750,000 which had been driven by an FBI agent. The rare vehicle was a 1995 F50 sports car. Judge Cohn did say that the situation was “certainly unfortunate” but also explained that a lawsuit against the government cannot be upheld in this type of situation.
The government has already refused outright to pay for the vehicle which was – according to Southfield, Michigan-based Motors Insurance – crashed in 2009 when a prosecutor and an FBI agent took it out for a joyride in Lexington, Kentucky, and then lost control in an industrial park.
The Ferrari was initially stolen in 2003, in Rosemont, Pennsylvania, where it was subsequently recovered by the FBI and held in Kentucky as evidence in an investigation which was being performed there. Few details have been provided by the government regarding this incident.
However, Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Hamilton Thompson did issue an email to the insurer which stated, FBI agent Fred Kingston was the driver at the time of the crash, which occurred when he lost control of the vehicle and struck a small tree and some bushes.
The insurer claims that the car was not actually being held in custody by law enforcement, as the government had received permission from the insurance company in order to hold it. Judge Cohn did not agree with this interpretation.