Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Help Me Howard: Parking Garage Problem
If you have ever done it, you won't forget the feeling. The bottom of you car scraping the ground sickening and even worse, when you see the damage it caused. So, who is responsible? It depends, so one man called Help Me Howard to find out.
WSVN --When Dexter Pinkney bought his Dodge Charger all he had to do was add custom rims to make it perfect for him.
Dexter Pinkney: "It's standard like that with the machevillie front end. That's my toy. I get on the road and travel up and down with that one."
You are seeing Dexter in his Charger on a good day. Now, look at this picture as he is coming out of a City of Miami parking garage.
Dexter Pinkney: "So, as I drove in my car scraped the entire bottom of the side walk and there was a lot of damaged that occurred."
Dexter's bumper was cracked going in and out of the garage on Northwest Third Street. The bottom of his car was also damaged and he says he wasn't alone.
Dexter Pinkney: "I saw another car with its bumper practically torn off as it reversed to come out of the garage because it was gonna have the same kind of damage."
Dexter is an engineer, he says the ramp had only half the slope it should have had and was not in compliance, which he says an official admitted to him.
Dexter Pinkney: "He told me that it's a problem they have had, they were looking into the problem and that it was the City of Miami who approved the side walk being built that way."
Dexter was told if he filled out a claim with the Miami Parking Authority they would pay his $1,500 repair bill. He filled it out added these pictures. Then, he waited not weeks, months.
Dexter Pinkney: "They looked into it and from what I got was a phone call from the claims reps saying that they denied to pay me."
A parking authority official told us the slope was corrected after Dexter's car was damaged. Although we were there this week and watched the bottom of another car hit the concrete as the driver exited, it didn't appear to be badly damaged. Dexter's was and he cannot get the City or the parking authority to pay for it.
Dexter Pinkney: "I pretty much got taken advantage of and I just think it's time you know. If you do something, you built something incorrectly, you ought to at least make it correct to those that you caused damages to and make it right."
Well Howard, it appears somebody made a mistake in building a slope and somebody made a mistake in approving it. So, can the City and the parking authority refuse to pay.
Howard Finkelstein: "Either the Miami Parking Authority or the City is legally responsible to pay for the damage to Dexter's car. They have to fight it out between them, that's their problem, but the end result, someone has to write Dexter a check."
Some are hard to resolve, some are easy, this one was not a headache. After we talked to the Miami Parking Authority, a spokesman told us that drivers park at their own risk, however, since this was a construction flaw they felt it would be the honorable thing to pay for the damage and they did see you can fight city hall.
Howard Finkelstein: "If a government agency damages your property, many people think you cannot sue the government. You can now, in some cases there are limits and restrictions, but if the government was negligent the government has to pay just like anybody else."
Dexter Pinkney: "Miami Parking Authority has decided to pay me a check for all the damages done to my car."
Dexter got his check for $,1520, needless to say he is happy.
Dexter Pinkney: "I'm extremely satisfied. I'm happy. Thanks to Howard and the crew I can get my car repaired 100 percent."
How do you fight city hall? Well avoid the legal avenues, that costs money. Instead, be the squeaky wheel. Make phone calls, start at the top. The mayor, the commissioners, the City or county manager, let them figure out who can solve you problem. And then keep calling, week, after week, after week, until you get what you want. It's sorta of what we do.
Scraping the bottom for a solution to your headaches? Don't get stuck. Park the problem with us and let us construct a smooth exit plan for you.