Indianapolis man sues Chipotle, others over sign collapse

September 30, 2016

Editor's note: This story has been changed from its original version to reflect the correct address of the Chipotle store, which was misidentified in the lawsuit.

An Indianapolis man who gained national attention after his car was crushed by a Chipotle sign on the north side has filed a lawsuit against the restaurant company as well as the property owner and manager.

The suit stems from an April 2 incident in the parking lot of a Chipotle restaurant at 1560 E. 86th St. in the Nora area.

According to the lawsuit filed in Marion Superior Court this month, plaintiff Mike Ford was preparing to exit his car when a large brick structure with signage crumbled and fell on the vehicle.

“Strong gusts of wind that day were causing damage and power outages across Central Indiana,” the lawsuit notes.

Onlookers “saw Mike shoot out from the car onto the pavement,” and employees at a nearby Sprint store came over to help him, the suit says.

Ford suffered a concussion and cuts and scratches. His car was totaled, the suit says.

News of the accident was picked up by national media outlets including CBS News and USAToday.

The suit names as defendants Chipotle Services LLC, as well as the property’s manager, Indianapolis-based Eclipse Real Estate Inc., and the property’s owner, BCJGNORA LLC. It claims all three entities are guilty of negligence for failing to take resonable steps to ensure Ford's safety.

Asked for comment, a representative of Chipotle said that while the firm regretted the incident and any damage or injury it caused, "the lawsuit involves a sign for several tenants in this center and our investigation into the matter continues."

Bryan J. Chandler, president of Eclipse Real Estate and registered agent for BCJCNORA, declined to comment on the case.

In the suit, Ford seeks unspecified damages and court costs from the defendants. Ford’s attorney in the case is Christopher Jeter of Fishers-based Massillamany & Jeter LLP.



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