Ending a four-year legal battle, a federal judge has ruled that a Manhattan man whose 2003 Ferrari was seized by Suffolk County following a repeat drunken driving arrest is entitled to $95,000 in damages.
James B. Ferrari, 51, no relation to the automaker, sued the county in 2010, claiming his due process rights were violated.
A U.S. District Court jury awarded the damages in May 2014, but the county appealed. A judge upheld the verdict and the decision became final on Monday, records show.PhotosRecent LI mug shotsDataLI crime stats
In 2009, Ferrari, a real estate broker with a previous DWI conviction , was pulled over for driving 100 mph on Bellport Road. A crack pipe was discovered inside the vehicle, according to records.
The county later auctioned off the luxury sports car, a 360 Spider that Ferrari claimed was worth $300,000.
His lawyer, Andrew Campanelli of Garden City, declined to comment Saturday. Ferrari could not be reached.
A Suffolk spokesman did not immediately return calls.
Ferrari, who was convicted of DWI and other charges in the 2009 case, had sought $2 million in damages. U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert in Central Islip allowed the lawsuit to proceed, though she noted Ferrari was "not the most sympathetic plaintiff, to put it mildly."
In the tri-state area, similar sports cars sell for about what the jury awarded, according to used-car websites.