St. Cloud couple sued for $75,000 for crash they were not involved in

Owners never removed themselves from registration after selling SUV

ST. CLOUD, Fla. – A St. Cloud couple says they sold their vehicle themselves, and it went horribly wrong.

Paul and Kay Kirby were sued because the person they sold their vehicle to was later involved in a crash.

The Kirbys were not behind the wheel or even in the vehicle, but they were hit with a $75,000 lawsuit.
The couple sold their 2003 Lincoln Navigator in 2014, but say they are still living a nightmare after doing it.

"My husband won’t drive his car," Kay Kirby said.  "He's just a nervous wreck. It’s just been horrible."

They sold the vehicle on Oct. 30, 2014, according to the bill of sale. 

Four days later, the person they sold it to veered into oncoming traffic and crashed into a school bus, according to the crash report.

"We got mail from investigators, insurance companies, her attorney, so we just sent letters to all of them with the bill of sale to say it’s nothing to do with us, we sold it," Kay Kirby said.

When they sold the vehicle, the Kirbys filled out the proper document in recording the vehicle's title number, VIN number and the buyer’s information. But they missed a crucial step.  

Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shares steps to properly sell your vehicle

They never filed the Notice of Sale with the state.    

When asked if they contacted the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the answer was no. 

"Because we just thought that was her part, she (the buyer) would take the title to the DMV and change names over," Kay Kirby said.

The buyer also never had the car registered to her.

Because that didn't happen, when the crash happened, by law the Kirbys still owned the vehicle. 

The insurance company for a passenger on the school bus sued them and the driver for $75,000.

Attorney Steven Kramer said people not filing the proper paperwork when selling a vehicle is a common mistake and has consequences.

"It definitely happens more frequently than you would think," he said. "The law really requires them to file a notice of sale with the state if they're going to want to go ahead and be protected from future liability."

Kay Kirby said she and her husband had no idea.

"Being from England, we never knew you must get a receipt or anything like that," she said.  

Because the Kirbys have not paid the $75,000 judgement, both their driver's licenses have been suspended.   

"If I can't work because I have no driver's license, you know, then who's going to pay the bills? Where's the money going to come from and we will end up on the streets?" Kay Kirby said.

When selling a vehicle, the form you need to fill out is HSMV 82050. You also need to file it at a motor vehicle service center.  

A representative for FLHSMV recommends that you conduct the transaction at a motor vehicle service center to make sure it happens.

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