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Family asks 13 Action News to investigate after sign slashes through car door

Posted at 5:58 PM, May 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-25 22:36:50-04

A valley family went from shaken up to angry after they say a sign hit their car and slashed through the door.

"Suddenly I feel a big huge crashing sound on the side of my door, the passenger door," said Lizette Harvey, who was driving east on Russell Road near Fort Apache Road when it happened. "I thought I got hit by a car, I'm in an accident, I jumped, I screamed."

It was not another car. The March 30 windstorm blew a chunk of a sign into her car door. The sign was for a State Farm insurance agent's office. 

"I go out to the car and there's a piece of plastic wedged into the side of my door and it had sliced like a knife through the door," Harvey said.

She asked her husband to help her deal with the property manager for the business complex where the sign was. 

"What basically had happened was the sign was missing screws on one of the L-brackets if you will," said her husband, Harry Harvey. "So therefore it allowed the sign to be taken off with the wind. When I saw that I was thinking, 'ok that's a no-brainer, they'll pay for it.'"

Harry contacted the State Farm agent's office. It turns out, he said it's the agent who has been representing his mom for decades. But instead of a check for the damage to the car, they got a letter from the insurance for the business plaza.

"Unless there's negligence on the sign or fault of the sign, that I would have nowhere to stand on," said Harry of the contents of the letter. "'It's an act of God' was his words."

Harry used pictures to show what he said are structural issues with the sign.

The property manager for the business plaza blamed it on the wind. He told us over the phone the brackets were only loose because of the wind, and it was the strong force of the wind in the right spot that ripped the sign out. He passed the buck back to State Farm, their insurance, for choosing not to help the Harveys.

"Fortunately, nobody was with me," said Lizette. "Fortunately the sign didn't go through the window. Had it gone up a few more inches it could have gone through the window."