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Woman Sues After $600 Car Gets $100K in Parking Tickets

By Andrew Lu on November 27, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Jennifer Fitzgerald is revving up for a fight over a jalopy that set a record in the city of Chicago -- by accruing more than $100,000 in parking tickets.

That's $105,761.80, to be precise. The total cost came as a shock to the 31-year-old single mother who insists she never drove the car in question. And she certainly didn't park the car at O'Hare International Airport's Parking Lot E, where it incurred all the penalties.

In fact, Fitzgerald claimed that she didn't even own the car, despite her name being registered as its owner, reports the website Jalopnik.

The car in question, a 1999 Chevy Monte Carlo worth about $600, was apparently abandoned in the airport parking lot. For about three years, the car just sat there as a pile of orange parking tickets just grew and grew.

No one bothered to tow the car, and apparently no one bothered to contact the car's owner either. Instead, day after day, month after month, and year after year, an officer just added another ticket to the car's likely overstuffed windshield.

When all was said and done, the car had received 678 tickets.

So how did the car registered in Fitzgerald's name end up in the airport parking lot?

Fitzgerald is blaming it on her ex-boyfriend. She claims that her ex bought the car from her uncle and inexplicably registered the car in her name. After the couple split up, Fitzgerald claims the ex took the car with him and continued to drive it to the O'Hare airport where he worked, writes Jalopnik.

At some point, the ex-boyfriend decided he didn't need the car (or decided to enact cruel revenge against Fitzgerald) by abandoning the vehicle in the airport parking lot, where it accumulated all the tickets.

So now Fitzgerald is in a tricky situation: She is being fined six figures for a car she allegedly didn't know she owned. The woman has hired an attorney and has brought a lawsuit against the city and her ex-boyfriend.

In the lawsuit, she says that if anyone should be responsible for the tickets, it should be her former boyfriend. In addition, Fitzgerald said that the city should have towed the vehicle long ago, instead of continuing to ticket an obviously abandoned vehicle.

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