Parked cars damaged by a “chapiteau” in Champs de Mars

Update 26 April 2017 :

A police officer from Pope Henessy Police Station called me today to ask about the case. I informed him that I came to an agreement with the Port Louis Tennis Club with which I have been able to get the money back for the car repairs. I just came back from the Police Station whereby I had to sign the above statement to confirm that I do not wish to go forward with the case anymore. [Click here for Facebook post link]

*End of update*

Never assume that your car is safe, not even in a paid parking! I even wrote a post on those disclaimers some time back. If you follow me on Facebook, you already know part of the story. Some pictures below and if you want to read the full story, just continue reading to the full article.

The full story

If you follow me on Facebook, you probably laughed when I posted the picture with the caption:

I’m currently in a bus heading towards Port Louis, and seated in the 2 seats on the left side. The sandal of a man, seated at the other end, on the right side is slowly slipping and nearly reached my shoe. What should I do? LOL.

Though it looked funny (and I admit that it was damn funny especially when I tried to take a discrete picture with my mobile phone), I was quite tensed. Right at that moment, I left an off-site training at Phoenix in a haste to take a bus to Port Louis when I got a call that a chapiteau (tent) damaged my car in the parking.

On reaching the parking of the Port Louis Tennis Club, the police was already examining the scene. A chapiteau which was installed some 10 meters from the cars flew directly on 3 of them, thus causing considerable damage.


And as you guess by now, one of the cars was mine and like all of the other drivers, we paid a monthly fee for keeping our cars there during working days.

The damages to my car:


Damages to the two other cars:


The chapiteau


After hearing the different persons involved, the story timeline can be written as :

  • Contractor 1 places ChapiteauA (seen damaged, lying on the ground) on Friday.
  • Cars are parked early this morning, everything is normal.
  • Contractor 2 arrives on the parking after 9-10am and removes ChapiteauA from its initial position before installing their own tent. This first consists of removing those safety straps which hold the structure firmly on the ground and then, place it by the side. This was done without prior authorization of Contractor1
  • With the heavy gusts of wind blowing, the ChapiteauA was thrown up in the air and landed on three of the cars parked. In addition to the damages to the cars, the iron/aluminium structure of the chapiteau got damaged too.

The rest of the story…


The Contractor1 was contacted and required to give his statement, especially the part where his permission was not given to manipulate his structure. Contractor2 was unreachable to give any explanations. As for the damaged cars, one of the drivers and myself wrote our complaints in the Police Station of Pope Henessy. A police examiner was called on the spot to (of course,) examine the damaged vehicles so that we could drive with our cars back home. We reached the police station shortly before 2 pm and left it nearly 2 hours later, with a free ride in the police vehicle (without being accused of any rape, thief or murder) lol.

Now, the insurance companies need to be contacted and procedures followed to get the cars repaired while the police carries out its inquiry to determine the responsibilities of the different parties.

To end, I do not know for how long I can remain car-less or get reimbursed (if any!!!). Meanwhile my transport will now be nooooooooooooo -> The bus!

15 thoughts on “Parked cars damaged by a “chapiteau” in Champs de Mars

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    1. En tout cas ena ene l’assurance qui dans pince net.. Mtius Union šŸ˜› A chaque fois li demande diagnostic docteur, ki normalement li pas gagne droit koner…let’s hope to l’assurance pas labas !


  1. I am sorry for you yashvin. I know how a car owner feels during these situations. Especially now you have to travel by bus šŸ˜¦

    I just hope you get your car back and never get into this kind of situation again. As for the insurance, that’s another pain…. btw, why did you park there? weren’t you aware of the fact that tent is being placed there???


    1. For sure, we were aware and it has been like that ever since I park there, from years back. But never an accident like this one happened and of course, it was human err. And since it was a paid parking, all cars there are allowed to park even when there were tents like those ones of today.


  2. I thought you were being escorted as a VIP but no. Problem with paid car parking is that they have clauses that say you park there at your own risk. You can only turn against the chapiteau company assuming they are covered for such liabilities. The insurance machine is always very slow. A real pain, you should be compensated for repairs, transportation and any loss of wages incurred. Keep all documentation and expenses.


    1. No such thing like “park at your own risk” exists under mauritian laws. You are entitled to dommages et interets.

      Its same when you break something in a supermarket, you are not required to pay for same.


  3. That’s what I call bad luck.
    Still, it’s better you were not in there when it happened, and that no-one got injured in the process.
    But again – who gave the authorisation to build up this temporary structure without insurance cover? The authorities have washed their hands with safety and protection of life/property since very long, else, all these seemingly little but potentially lethal things should have been prevented by proper enforcement of our existing laws.

    But who cares…?


    1. Well, they are a private club and from what I learnt afterwards, they don’t even have a parking permit. So, to calm down everything, they finally accepted to come to an agreement by waiving off my parking fees for some months.


      1. What if you no longer needed their parking…?
        Well, I’ve been told that in civilised countries, the first thing anyone does to show good faith is to offer money in form of compensation. Because you could die tomorrow, or no longer live in the same place, work at the same place etc. But in an uncouth civilisation we have in Dodoland, no-one finds it normal to hand out money to compensate. In your case, what if: you had been injured? Severely? No longer been able to work as a result? Had to relocate? In all these scenarios, how can free parking tickets compensate the unwarranted damage inflicted upon you by their negligence…?
        Let me stop my paranoid barrage here: In Dodoland, nothing ever improves until someone important loses something important.


      2. Agree with you. But since I still needed their parking, I agreed upon it. Else, I guess that they would have landed into serious trouble for offering paid parking without permit and probably renting the club without necessary permit or declaration of income for all those events šŸ˜›


      3. I don’t know why, but it still seems like extortion, even 1 year after reading the initial post…


  4. Hi Yashvin,
    I just came across your story here. It dates back quite a while – how did it end finally? As you know I did a blog post in the past about constat a l’amiable so all these kind of topics interest me a lot.

    Did the ones who set up the tent bear full liability and paid your excess? You are absolutely right that wherever you park your car there is a risk! And the excess fees of insurance companies is not low, meaning a mango or a coconut falling on your windshield can cost you Rs.15 000!

    This was a good one! “Iā€™m currently in a bus heading towards Port Louis, and seated in the 2 seats on the left side. The sandal of a man, seated at the other end, on the right side is slowly slipping and nearly reached my shoe. What should I do? LOL.”

    Did you kick it back and scream goal? or engage into soccer talks which team he or she supports šŸ˜‰


    1. Hi.
      Sorry for posting a reply after 7 months lol. In fact, both parties (the club and myself) came to an agreement whereby my monthly fees were waived off to cover the reparation costs šŸ™‚

      As for the sandal, perhaps I should have handed it over to the man lol.


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