City says its not liable in squished bug case | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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City says its not liable in squished bug case

Michael Schneider

The city of South Lake Tahoe will likely deny the claim of a resident who – while vacationing out of the country – had his car squashed by the city.

Gretchen Abravanel, risk management coordinator for the city, said the claim should be denied because the city has no liability in this matter.

“City staff followed all required and proper procedures as required by state law and city code,” Abravanel wrote in a July 27 report to City Manager Kerry Miller.

Twenty-year resident Andre Wiktor vacationed in Europe from late April to late June.

When Wiktor returned from his trip, he found the city had towed his 1974 Volkswagen Superbeetle. The car was demolished around June 11, two weeks before Wiktor returned home.

According to reports from Tim Donley, in charge of the city’s abandoned vehicles program, Wiktor’s car was stolen and left a short distance away.

Wiktor said he isn’t sure whether to believe the city’s claim that the car was found down the street from his house.

According to Donley, he got a call from a neighbor of Wiktor’s who reportedly saw the car sitting in an abandoned lot and wanted it towed.

The city towed the car and a process, of which the end result is either the car is claimed or demolished, was put into motion.

After the required amount of time had passed, the vehicle was towed to Pick’N’Pull Auto Wreckers in Sparks where it was demolished.

Wiktor has vowed to sue the city regarding his squashed bug, saying the city had no right to destroy his beloved vehicle, but Donley said the city has never lost a similar case, except one which ultimately was overturned on appeal.

Tahoe Daily Tribune E-mail: tribune@tahoe.com

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