While repairing a slow leak in a tire on my car, the shop owner (Luis Galindo) raised the car slightly (enough to lift the wheel off of the ground) and removed the wheel. He used the air gun to speed things along. He placed an old (rusty) wheel that he had beside the wheel press machine onto the wheel press apparently to use as a platform for assisting his work efforts. When he pressed the pedal to expand the post which normally grab the inside wall of the wheel, three of them grab and the wheel lifted slightly on one edge causing it to be catapulted from the surface of the machine (like a sling-shot) and smack into the rear passenger side door of my car with such force that it caused a big dent on the door, the plastic outer molding and scratches on both. The force also caused the wheel to ricochet, hit the wheel press machine and deflect back towards my car lightly (this time) bouncing off of the front door (near the handle) and leave a small surface scratch and light trace of some of the rust from the wheel.
I noticed the light damage on the front door first and retrieved a microfiber clothe from my trunk and cleaned the area using a little spit to provide moister. I was standing right there and saw and heard the whole thing. In fact I was so close that I was at a bad angle to be able to see the damage that had been done to the bottom of the rear door. Luis went back to working on my tire and dismissed the fact that anything had happened. I kept processing the events and couldnt make sense of how such a loud smack and ricochet couldve resulted in such a small amount of scratches and surface rust which I had been able to remove (mostly) from the front door. I took a step back from the car and looking in at this new angle saw the damage to the rear door. I pointed it out immediately and Luis suddenly developed a very poor understanding of the English language, became very argumentative, and denied that any damage had occurred to my car. He pointed out that the damage was on the front door (which I had mostly already cleaned off). He refused to provide any of his information, name, and insurance carrier name or even discuss the matter further with me until the police arrived. I paid the $20.00 he had asked for which he took without providing a receipt or any other paperwork/acknowledgement.
I had to call the police twice in order to get them to show up. The first time I called, I was told that this was going to be a civil matter and that they didnt respond to or get involved in civil matters. After I called them back and explained that Luis was being combative, argumentative and dismissive the dispatcher said shed put it out as a disturbance and send a unit. The police arrived and acted as if they were doing me a great big favor by getting me a business card with his name hand printed on it. While they were talking to him another unit rolled up and the officer used his cars PA system to ask the officers inside if they were alright. Just an observation, so at first they were too busy to get involved and now they are able to dispatch two units, one of which was inside and the other hanging around outside.
I contacted my insurance company and explained the situation and filed a claim. They contacted him and attempted to get his insurance information and met with similar negative results. My insurance representative told me that he (Mr. Luis Galindo) was uncooperative, dismissive, rude, laughed at her and hung up several times when she had contacted him. An appraiser has appraised the damage at just under $500.00 dollars. Of course my deductible is five hundred dollars, so it looks like my slow leak is going to cost me a bit more than the twenty bucks it originally should have.
I also contacted a few more organizations to see if I could get the information for my insurance company:
Lynn Police Dept 08-Oct-2012
Lynn Police Dept (Records) 09-Oct-2012
Lynn City Hall:
Clerks Office 09-Oct-2012 & 10-Oct-2012
Law Department 10-Oct-2012
Lynn Chamber of Commerce 10-Oct-2012
Better Business Bureau 10-Oct-2012
Massachusetts Department of Consumer Affairs 10-Oct-2012
Secretary of the Commonwealth 10-Oct-2012
Division of Insurance 10-Oct-2012
Department of Revenue 10-Oct-2012
Division of Standards 10-Oct-2012
Department of Insurance and Finance 10-Oct-2012
All to no avail. Apparently a business does not need to have insurance (or list who they are insured with) in Massachusetts (so theres a huge loop hole).