SEASIDE HEIGHTS - A Jersey Shore borough has agreed to pay a towing company $250,000 to settle a lawsuit related to Superstorm Sandy.
Kane In Your Corner investigated complaints about APK Towing, of Toms River, in November 2012, after many Seaside Heights residents complained the company towed their cars right out of their driveways after Sandy, then tried to charge them as much as $2,500 for towing and storage. The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs launched an investigation of its own and worked out an agreement under which owners were able to retrieve their vehicles at no charge. APK admitted no wrongdoing.
In February, APK sued Seaside Heights, seeking $2.6 million in damages and $300,000 for services stemming from the work it did after Sandy. APK had a contract with the borough to tow vehicles, and claimed it only did as instructed by borough officials.
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Seaside Heights Borough Administrator John Camera says he agreed to settle the case because the borough is partially responsible for the excessive towing. “I believe without any doubt that borough representatives did direct APK to tow cars during that time,” he says. “Whether they directed them to tow everyone that they towed or not, or gave general orders like ‘get all of these cars out of here’…I can’t know and probably will never know.”
Owners of APK Towing declined to discuss the settlement. Its attorney, Michael Botton, says his clients are “happy with the…vindication that they thoroughly deserve.”