Just a couple of months after moving in to her new apartment in East Boston, Signe Hardigan woke up late one night to a flood of trouble.

"I had a text from my boyfriend’s mom and she had said ‘Do you really have a sinkhole outside of your apartment?’" said Hardigan.

A water main burst causing not one, but two sinkholes on her street.

"The first thing I thought about was my car was right in front of my apartment and it wasn’t there," said Hardigan.

An officer told Hardigan that they had to tow her car because of the emergency situation and that she would be responsible for the tow bill.

"I just got out of college, I have a ton of student loans, and I don’t feel like $128 needs to be coming out of my account for something I didn’t do," said Hardigan.

Hardigan says she and her family started making phone calls to the police department, city hall and the towing company hoping someone would take responsibility and cover the bill.

"Anybody I talked to had said that ‘We understand that’s not fair, but we’re not the people you’re supposed to be talking to and we don’t really know where to direct you," said Hardigan.

Needing her car, Hardigan handed over the money and got the car back. But, she wasn’t happy and neither was her mom.

"She said ‘Well, we’ll just call Channel 7. We’ll just call Channel 7," said Hardigan.

They did and we asked our consumer law expert and president of the Massachusetts Bar Association, Robert Harnais, who’s responsible for the bill.

"It should be the city’s bill. The city should pay for it. They towed a legally parked car," Harnais explained. "She did nothing wrong. She wasn’t parked illegally. She was parked the right way. I understand it was an emergency. I understand you had to rush on this, but she shouldn’t have to pay the price for that."

So, we went to city hall and spoke with Commissioner Gina Fiandaca of the Boston Transportation Department, who agreed that Hardigan shouldn’t be responsible for the bill.

"In cases like that, the customer can put in a claim with the city clerk’s office and request their money back," said Commissioner Fiandaca.

In Hardigan’s case, the city had a quicker solution. 

"We could reach out to the tow company on her behalf and see if they would refund her money," said Commissioner Fiandaca.

The towing company did refund the money, and we delivered the check to Hardigan the next day.

"I just thank you guys a lot for helping me along the way and making sure this got done," said Hardigan.

Do you have a problem that is giving you a sinking feeling? Maybe we can tow your troubles away. Give us a call at 617-367-7777 or send us an email to SolveIt7@whdh.com.

(Copyright (c) 2015 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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