“St. Paul employee who hit own car with rented city van wants damages”

“I think I can safely say this is a very unusual claim,” said City Clerk Shari Moore, referring to Megan Campbell’s “claim against the city seeking $1,600 to $1,900 from public coffers for damage caused to her personal vehicle by a city worker — herself.” [St. Paul Pioneer-Press; Lowering the Bar]


  • From the Lowering the Bar article: “Sometimes one vehicle inexplicably suffers no damage in a crash, though. That does happen. Or so they say.”

    I can attest to this from personal experience though it does depend on what each of the vehicles are.

    I have a Dodge Nitro SUV (5000 lb tow rating) with a Class 3 trailer hitch (Rated up to 6,000 lbs GTW with 600 lbs TW).

    I was stopped at the end of an off ramp. There was a compact car behind me. I started to slowly roll up to make a right turn, but had to stop due to on coming traffic. The driver in the car behind me started to roll up with me, but failed to notice when I stopped. The other car hit me at maybe 10 mph.

    My hitch caved in the other car’s grill, luckily for the other driver not quite reaching the radiator, but at that low a speed and with as small a car as it was, the forces were nowhere near what would be involved in stopping with a 5000 lb trailer and it didn’t even scratch the paint on my hitch.

    It never says what the personal vehicle was, but I can easily believe that a low speed collision between a full size cargo van and an eccono-box car would result in no damage to the van.

  • “Campbell, a 2014 college grad, …”

    Her claim just goes to show that a college degree does not necessarily equate with intelligence.

  • @MattS:
    You should read the news story before speculating that the rented van she was driving was not damaged. Her complaint alleges that the collision “popped” a tire and scrapped the van. But, neither she nor Enterprise Reat-A-Car reported any accident or damages. The accident allegedly occurred on August 4th, but she did not file a claim until September 25th. If you deal with Enterprise (as I do for an organization the rents many vehicles), you’ll find that it claims every bug splat on the windshield as damages in excess of fair wear and tear (we recommend using a cell phone to video the vehicle before and after). Accordingly, if Enterprise didn’t report the damages she now claims, there’s plenty of cause for skepticism.

  • Sounds like she could dig herself a hole deeper than anticipated.
    What if the rental company ‘finds’ some damage on that vehicle now.
    With her admission of both fault and failure to report an accident to her employer she could find herself on the hook for damages to the van too.

    And a failure to file a police report on the accident. Leaving the scene of an accident probably does not have a exception for the vehicle being your own (because it would be expected that one of the vehicles is your own).

    So if this is a false report now which she cleverly thinks will net her a free car repair, she could find herself with all sorts of unintended consequences.

  • Regardless of the disposition of the claim, she should be fired and charged with leaving the scene of an accident.