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There are some airports that don’t mess around when it comes to cars parking out front. LAX used to be one of them but I don’t see as many cops or tow trucks as I used to. The same can’t be said about New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

According to a Reddit thread (embedded below), an eager tow truck operator, who was obviously looking to make a quick buck, towed a car way too prematurely. It’s actually quite insane what allegedly took place: “We were at JFK airport when my husband stopped the car to get a wheelchair for my mom who’s 75 years old, a stroke patient with half body paralyzed. He was gone for maybe 2 minutes if that. In the car, there were 3 kids under 5 including a 5 month old. So in total 2 adults and 3 kids. Tow truck came. Didn’t even check if there were people, they hooked up the car and lifted the front 2 tires off the ground, and drove for 3 seconds while I was honking continuously.”

Can I sue a towing company for towing with people inside?
byu/Affectionate-Yak9842 inlegaladvice

The first thing it made me think about was when I used to take my elderly dad to the airport and he couldn’t walk long distances. Trying to find a wheelchair and someone to escort him was near impossible unless you went inside the terminal … and it still took time to try and locate one, even when you requested one in advance.

The second thing it made me think about was when a pedestrian captured video of an illegal tow truck trying to hook and lift a car with a couple inside, while stopped at a red light in San Francisco.

The person who posted the story about the towing at JFK on Reddit asked if she could sue the tow truck company. I’m not a lawyer but I would love to see them sue the company and the port authority for hiring these reckless companies and workers.

Others seem to agree. Here are some of the comments:

@This-Cabinet-6684: The tow truck company can only move the car if no one is inside the car ( they would have had to have been in the car before the tow truck hooked up the car, if they hopped in after the car was hooked up they would be in the wrong) hope some took a video of the incident”

@Sad-Dot-4586: NAL but I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to tow a car with people inside. If anything, they can report the tow company to whoever handles that (IDK if it’s police, some licensing board, or what) because it shouldn’t happen a first time. May not get money out of it but prevents it from happening to another person.

@deadassstho: new yorker here. the guy that towed you essentially has a monopoly on the entire jfk area, almost like a shake down situation. if you ever need a tow there and you try to call anybody but him, every place tells you “call mike”. just to put into perspective the type of company this is.

@JellyDenizen: You can sue anyone for anything, but you’d need to prove damages for the suit to be worth pursuing. Was any member of your family harmed? Was there any damage to your vehicle?

@Velocityg4: If there weren’t damages. There’s nothing to sue for. Not that the tow truck driver is in the clear. They may be liable for fines and penalties, to the state, for towing an occupied vehicle. Since time has passed, no one was hurt and a cop didn’t stop them. It’s very unlikely anyone will do anything about it. You could always file a report with the airport’s local police department. Then they can decide if they’ll follow up or not.

Moral of the story: Don’t leave your car while at JFK and if you see a tow truck, start recording, especially if people are inside the vehicle.

H/T View from the Wing


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