UPDATE 6/22/18 - Things are on the upswing for Ashton Martin.
Friday, our In Your Corner team, with the help of a viewer, spent the morning pulling off the perfect surprise for a single mom in need.
Remember, Ashton's parked car took a pounding after bricks from AT&T’s downtown building jarred loose during a major storm.
AT&T said paying for repairs to Ashton's car wasn't their problem since it was an "Act of God,” a lightning bolt that damaged their building, leaving Ashton with a $1,000 deductible.
That didn't sit well with News 4 viewer, Gayle McNitt.
“I thought, 'I can't believe that AT&T can't pay to fix that girl's car, whether they think it's their fault or not, it's their building.’”
That got Gayle thinking some more.
If AT&T wasn't going to step up, then she would.
Gayle wants to give Ashton a thousand bucks and asked the In Your Corner team to hand deliver a check!
We couldn't wait to get it to Ashton.
Since Gayle couldn't go with us, we got her on speaker phone and passed the phone to Ashton.
“Hi mystery person,” Ashton said.
Gayle cut right to the chase saying, “So I just decided that I should pay that $1,000 deductible for you, so you at least won't have that to worry about that.”
This surprise left Ashton pinching herself.
“[Gayle] you are the best person in the whole world,” she said. “You made my whole life. Thank you."
What a blessing it is.
Ashton says a thousand dollars is the equivalent of about a month's take home salary for her.
Remember, Ashton was going to have to dip into her savings to pay for the repairs.
She won't have to now!
OKLAHOMA CITY - Ashton Martin thought someone was playing a cruel joke on her.
“The next thing I know - it looked like the Hulk smashed my car," she said.
While Martin was at work, outside - bricks were raining down on and around her car.
“At least eight to 10,” she said. “[There was] one that fell and scratched down the hood of my car.”
A second car was parked several feet away and sustained damage to its roof from a second brick crashing more than 12 stories.
They came from the building next door, which is owned by Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, doing business as AT&T.
We know, right around that same time they jarred loose, downtown Oklahoma City was getting rocked by a major rain and lightning storm.
AT&T said it was one of those lightning bolts that hit their building.
When she tried to file a claim, AT&T denied her claim - citing an act of God.
Adding insult to injury, the denial letter Martin received from the company that handles AT&T’s damage claim was full of misspellings.
She wonders if her case was given less priority.
“I think they try to take the easy way out,” she said. “Like, ‘Oh, weather happened that day.'”
AT&T responded to In Your Corner’s questions with this response:
"We are sorry to hear about the damage to Ms. Martin's car. However, it was caused by a lightning strike, which is considered an 'act of nature' and should be claimed on her insurance."
Oklahoma Deputy Insurance Commissioner Buddy Combs said the situation falls outside of his agency's jurisdiction, since AT&T insures their own liability, instead of paying a separate insurance carrier to bear the risk.
It’s like an insurance policy the company funds themselves.
“If you have a freak accident, rain storm, hail storm, strike of lightning that causes something to happen outside of their control, that's typically not going to be covered by any liability policy you have,” he said.
Since AT&T is claiming the damage was an act of God, they're off the hook.
“They denied all of it and then couldn't prove to me what happened,” Martin said.
The good news is Martin has car insurance.
The bad news is the 22-year-old single mom is stuck bumming rides and paying a $1,000 deductible.
- The bricks damaged several cars, but no one was injured.
- Martin's insurance could go after AT&T, but it would likely be more expensive to try to initiate a lawsuit.
- Martin met with her adjuster and is moving forward with repairs.