While some might consider towing, impounding and disposing of a 2002 Saturn to be an act of automotive mercy, one Ohio woman believes the damages and losses incurred when it happened to her are worth a whopping $500 Billion.
You read that right, Michelle Mathis believes the Columbus Department of Public Safety's Impound Unit owes her billions of dollars as a result of the way they treated her
Saturn. According to court documents obtained by TheNewspaper.com Mathis is seeking $500 billion in compensatory damages and. oh why not, another $20 million in punitive damages.
The whole incident began when the Ohio woman was hospitalized after being involved in a car accident this past January. While in recovery at Ohio State University Medical Hospital her 2002 Saturn SC2 was towed and impounded. After leaving the hospital in early February Mathis was, for reasons not entirely clear, unable to recover her car from the Impound.
Mathis contends the city sold her car without notifying her and refused to provide information about the whereabouts of her car. The city claims the woman—who was receiving mail while in the hospital—chose to disregard the notices they sent her and did no wrong.
The woman believes the city was in violation of her constitutional rights "under the Fourth Amendment for improper search and seizure; under the Fourteenth Amendment for violation ofthe Equal Protection Clause; and under the Ninth Amendment for violation of her inalienable rights."
We don't doubt that having your car impounded and sold while you're in the hospital has to be a pretty terrible experience—even if it is a Saturn. Having said that seeking 500 billion dollars in damages for something like this is completely insane.
To perhaps only Mathis' surprise in a document released this past week federal magistrate Judge Elizabeth Deavers agreed, recommending the case is dismissed. We can only wait and see whether that recommendation is enough to officially end Michelle Mathis' multi-billion dollar quest for automotive justice.