In 2008, a technician at The Ferrari Centre in Kent, England took a customer's Ferrari 348 TS for a test ride. The tech, Shane Harris, said he was told by the shop owner, Roger Collingwood, to "open her up" and do 100 miles per hour. So Harris opened it up on the A274 highway, and while he didn't reach 100 mph, he did get up to 80 – and then he crashed. After losing control of the car, Harris plowed into another car and then into a stand of trees.

According to the Telegraph, Harris was paralyzed by the accident and requires around-the-clock care. Now, he's suing Collingwood for damages. It was part of Harris' job to take cars for test drives before returning them to customers, but in this case, he says that his employers were negligent and that testing high-performance cars on public roads is "unsafe."

Collingwood has denied any wrongdoing, saying that all employees are instructed to never break the speed limit. The case goes to court next year.


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  • 106 Comments
      Rob
      • 3 Years Ago
      I can't believe i breathe the same air as these people. If i was the Ferrari owner i would sue the idiot who wrecked my car.
      BuckD
      • 3 Years Ago
      If your boss asks you to do something illegal or potentially hazardous, it's your personal and legal responsibility to say "no." Besides, "open her up" is a pretty vague standard. You could tack on "until you reach the speed limit" at the end of that sentence and legitimately claim to have "opened her up."
      schoonmakr
      • 3 Years Ago
      Preposterous. A bad driver has an accident while going irresponsibly and illegally fast? Tuf.
      Evan McMiller
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well, it was a 348 what did you expect...But seriously. I'm very sorry he's injured in such a way, but holy hell. What an irresponsible ******* for trying to sue the shop. I've seen some ridiculous civil suits but this is about the most ridiculous thing I think I've ever read. There is not ounce of liability carried by the shop in this case. Unreal.
      Narom
      • 3 Years Ago
      I do wonder about some of the people on my fair island. It's a shame the suing culture has been imported.
      jtav2002
      • 3 Years Ago
      A shame the guy was paralyzed, but this is another pointless lawsuit. Especially since he's essentially suing based on what he was told to do and what he was actually doing. If he only crashed at 80mph, he was basically doing highway speeds, on a highway. If he can't handle driving highway speeds in a car designed to handle speeds much higher perhaps he shouldn't be driving at all.
        QCRamAir
        • 3 Years Ago
        @jtav2002
        My thoughts exactly. Granted, the 348 is infamous for sketchy handling at best, but I can't imagine this guy was anywhere NEAR the handling limits of the car. If he really was only doing 80, likely on a public highway/interstate that is mostly straight with a few long curves every now and then, and crashed, then he's just a ridiculously-incompetent driver. My guess is that it wasn't around a tight corner with slippery conditions.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @jtav2002
        [blocked]
      edhd58
      • 3 Years Ago
      I work for a Honda/Kawasaki motorcycle dealer in Kentucky. It's been a couple years ago but a similar incident happened to our shop. The customer brought his bike in complaining of high speed wobble in the front tire at about 105mph, but it only happened if he took his hands off the handlebars. We politely told him that a) the bikes are not made ot be ridden hands free and b) there wasn't a single tech in the shop that was gonna test his bike under those conditions. The guy actually called Kawasaki to complain that our shop wasn't doing anything to repair his bike. The Kawasaki rep told the customer he wouldn't have done anything either.
        Evan McMiller
        • 3 Years Ago
        @edhd58
        Haha wow I can't believe the guy had the balls to come into your shop and say that. I'd feel like an idiot for coming into a shop complaining about a wobble with hands free driving at 105.
      Phil T
      • 3 Years Ago
      Regardless of what the boss allegedly said, he was in control of the car and was best able to judge the right speed for the road conditions...but he didn't.
      Kris
      • 3 Years Ago
      When I was working in a workshop if any of as damaged a customer's car the repair cost would've come out of our salary. And the best car I got to test drive was 10 years old Audi A8 4.2. At the time I would've be very happy for the chance to work in a Ferrari shop and I would've be much more careful than this guy.
        QCRamAir
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Kris
        I'm amazed at how many "authorized mechanics" there are at exotic dealerships that have absolutely no clue how to drive the cars that they make their living working on.
      cynicalrick
      • 3 Years Ago
      More money for lawyers, and wasted court time and expenses. How do you justify suing someone for "forcing" you to break the law?
      OptimusPrimeRib
      • 3 Years Ago
      If my job told me to grab a 440 volt wire just to see that it's live can I sue if I live?
      J. Edwin K.
      • 3 Years Ago
      If the tech's story is true, then the real question is... How do I get a job at this place?
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