Investigating the Issues That Affect You Most

City Takes Six Months to Settle At-Fault Damage Claim

By Lisa Parker
|  Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010  |  Updated 8:15 PM CDT
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<a title=Chicago's Finance Department offers $676 on $900 damage estimate." />

Chicago's Finance Department offers $676 on $900 damage estimate.

When a city snow plow hit a Chicago woman's car six months ago, the incident seemed like an open and shut case. But up until a couple of weeks ago, the 71-year-old former crossing guard was still without money or a response.

It was Hennie Myles' son, Kriss, who was using the car last December when a snow plow backed into and pushed it into the middle of the intersection.

While the plow driver called his supervisor, Kriss Myles called police and filed a report.

"She was at ease," said Kriss Myles of telling his mother of the accident. "Number one: it wasn't my fault. And you know, she was happy about that. And she figured, you know, the city would take care of it.

Myles said he got two estimates to fix the damage. Both were around $900.

Then the mother and son filled out the city's complaint form. And they waited.

Hennie Myles said she sent email after email and didn't get a response. She picked up the phone in March.

"I called them and they told me that I wouldn't be able to find out anything until next year. And they might not pay for it then," she said.

The city's finance department ultimately made a settlement offer of $676 on her $900 claim. She accepted, not wanting to go through the process of a small claim suit.

When asked why the city didn't make Myles whole, a spokesperson said that each case is handled individually.

"It was their mistake, their problem. They should take care of it. I mean if it's something I did, I couldn't tell them I had to think about it," Myles said.

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