Family plans to sue Fall River for damage to car

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — It’s been nearly a year since a Fall River man’s car was struck by a city fire truck – and he says he’s still waiting for the city to fully pay for the damage.

Craig Purcell said his father’s 2003 Buick was parked in a store’s lot on Pleasant Street when the driver of the fire truck accidentally backed into the front end.

The city offered to pay $1,500 to cover the cost, but Purcell showed us estimates from two different auto body shops that averaged out to more than $3,000.

“My father being disabled, he’s on a fixed income, so it’s not like he can afford to go out and spend $3,300 to fix the car in which he did not damage,” Purcell explained.

Purcell believes there’s a double-standard in place.

“I said if my father hit your fire truck and he caused damage, and let’s say it was $3,000 worth of damage, would my father be allowed to pay you $1,000? The obvious answer is no,” he said.

The city’s attorney, Elizabeth Sousa, admitted that her team never compared Purcell’s estimates to any other auto body shops, but said “the amount of damages that he was seeking was excessive.”

The family is now arranging to take the city to Superior Court.

“They were 100% at fault and we just want them to fix what they damaged,” said Purcell.

Fall River’s legal team said it could take up to two years before the court sends the appeals case to trial.

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