MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Minneapolis man just learned he is the one who will have to pay for the repairs after a city snow plow truck hit his van during the April blizzard.
That is because a state statute gives the city “immunity” in the case, even though Pete Herrera did nothing wrong.
His van is drivable, but the scratches and dents remain. He was parked on a street that appears to have plenty of space for traffic, even a plow truck.
He thought the city would be liable then, right? Well, he was wrong.
“And then you show them the pictures, everybody’s like ‘Whoa, no way!’” Herrera said.
A city plow truck wedged against his van as it went down his street during the blizzard. Herrera says he and his neighbors were parked on the correct side of the street for the snow emergency, yet the plow still hit him.
“I just have liability, so they won’t cover nothing for me,” Herrera said.
He says the repairs were estimated around $5,000, so he decided to file a claim against the city. Months later, he got a letter stating that the city was “legally immune under the facts of your claim, therefore your claim is denied.”
“What do you mean you’re immune?” Herrera said.
A state statute grants the city immunity from some tort claims, in this case because there was snow or ice on the road.
“If I’m parked, it’s a parked vehicle, and he runs into my vehicle, why are they not responsible?” Herrera said. “That just doesn’t make any sense to me.”
The letter gave Herrera the option of disputing the claim in court, but he worries hiring an attorney would put an even bigger dent in his wallet then the ones on the side of his van.
“If you got a driveway, put it in there because if the city hits it, you’re not covered,” he said.
Herrera, a handyman, fixed the mirror himself for about $60. The two new tires costs him about $300.