Miami construction company pays up months after woman's luxury SUV damaged by cement

Woman claims company's vendor further damaged vehicle during detailing

By Layron Livingston - Reporter

MIAMI - What she thought was rain falling from the sky left her stuck between setting cement and a hard place.

Carmen Morris said it happened in April while she was driving on Northeast Eighth Street in downtown Miami, right next to the Miami World Center construction site.

"They should have blocked off the street," she said.

Morris's white Mercedes SUV ended up covered with gray spots.

"I take it to the carwash, and the guys say, 'Ma'am, this is cement. We're not even going to touch it,'" Morris said. 

Morris told the Leave it to Layron team that she made contact with an on-site representative with Coastal, the construction company working in the area.

Morris's dealership quoted her $269 to detail her SUV, but the construction company said it had its own vendor.

"I'm like, 'OK, but I still believe you should let me take it to Mercedes-Benz. But if your guy knows what he's doing, fine,'" she said. 

It was not fine.

"I'm seeing all these dings on the car. I'm seeing peeling paint, and I'm like, 'You've damaged my car!'" Morris said.

Photos show the paint stripped down to reveal gray metal in some spots.

When the LITL team got a look at Morris's SUV, there were still pieces of hardened cement on the roof and door of the car.

Morris, again, returned to her dealer.

"And I got a quote, and I almost fainted, to be honest with you," she said.

Remember the original $269 quote to detail the SUV? Well, the new quote to repair the new paint and body damage was just shy of $6,000.

"Makes no sense," she said.

Complicating the matter: Morris's SUV is leased and was due back to the dealership at the end of the summer.

She said she contacted the construction company once again and an appointment was set up with the dealer to have the damages repaired.

But Morris said when that day came, her dealer notified her that no payment arrangements had been made.

The LITL team called Coastal's Miami office multiple times and left multiple messages. We finally heard back from one of their construction executives.

He explained he had not heard about the cement on Morris's SUV until after we started calling.

He said he didn't know why it took so long to resolve the issue, but that he'd contact Coastal's insurance company. We were told she could expect a check in a matter of days.

"April, May, June, July, August," Morris said. "Five months of run-around."

When we last spoke with Morris, we were happy to learn she'd received a check to cover the damages to her SUV.

"God bless you," she said.

Morris could have turned her lease in earlier and saved some money. We're told the check she received covers the payments she made waiting for all of this to get sorted out.

"I'm not so sure they would have responded the right way if it had not been for your phone call," she said.

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