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Herman Kiwi loves his 2014 GMC Sierra.
“Jesus is what I call it,” Herman said about his truck. “I’ve been blessed to have something like this, I worked hard for it.”
In his spare time, he works to keep his truck in tip-top shape.
So when Herman was at work one afternoon at Port Everglades in February and heard a weed eater just feet away from his truck, he started recording.
“All of a sudden I heard, wamp, wamp, wamp. I said, ‘Oh my God, that sounds like a weed eater,” Herman said.
He says he watched and recorded as rocks ricocheted off the weed eater, hitting his truck.
When he went outside to inspect his truck, he saw three small but noticeable paint chips.
The police report he filed that afternoon estimated the damage at $150, but Herman got two estimates from local dealerships that put the repair cost at more than $2,000.
So he went to his employer, Port Everglades. Their investigation held a port business, TransMontaigne Operating Company “responsible” because they hired the landscaping company, Gonzalez and Sons Equipment.
But when Herman took his estimates to the landscaping company he says a representative refused to pay him for the full amount of the damage.
“He said he would give you $250 in cash, take it or leave it,” Herman said.
So, he called NBC 6 Responds. We reached out to both TransMontaigne Operating and Gonzalez and Sons, Inc.
“It was an accident. Just pay up for it and let’s move forward,” Herman said.
Less than a week after we started making phone calls Herman says a representative from the landscaping company called and met him with a check for 2500 dollars and asked him to sign a waiver liability form.
The form “releases any and all liability to Gonzalez and Sons” and also put the responsibility of “fixing the damages” on Herman.
He says he’s okay with those conditions.
“Very grateful, very thankful, I got only what I was asking for, I didn’t ask for anything else, I just wanted what was on the quote,” he said.
It took four months, but was thrilled to finally have the check in hand.
“I called Channel 6, and what a miracle, in two days you solved the problem,” Herman said.
A representative from TransMontaigne Operating Company told NBC 6 Responds they are not the responsible party.
We reached out to Gonzalez and Sons for a statement but they declined to comment.
Some liability forms waive your right to sue in court. It’s a good idea to read them carefully or get legal advice.