Indiana native claims Whiteland business failed to rebuild his vehicle, broke contract

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Whiteland, Ind. – A man finally has his beloved Jeep back after two years.

Christopher Block has had the Jeep since he was in high school. A car guy himself, Block has rebuilt the vehicle several times.

“It kind of means a lot to me,” Block told CBS4. “I have done two different engine swaps on it personally, so this will be the third. It’s kind of like, a give-it-to-my-grandkids-if-I-ever-get-any, sort of thing.”

Block was an active guy. While in Indianapolis, he worked for Cummins and Allison Transmission. He spent a lot of time outside.

In 2016, though, his life took a drastic turn. Block broke his neck in a bicycling accident. He was paralyzed from the armpits down.

“I need help getting out of bed and getting back into bed,” he explained. “Even though I am an engineer with a master’s degree, I haven’t been able to find a job. Right now, I’m making $400 a month.”

Block said he has tried to make the most of life since his injury. He got a special wheelchair that can help stand him up.

“I’m kind of like, a transformer,” he said, optimistic. “I’m six feet talk, so most of the time, I’m sitting down and looking really short.”

In 2018, Block wanted to replace the engine in his Jeep. Because he couldn’t do it himself, he dropped it off at “Just Lift It” in Whiteland. He signed a contract that promised the business would rebuild the Jeep within seven months. He gave them $5,000 of the agreed $10,000 bill upfront and more than $30,000 in materials.

“I delivered it to these guys in a U-Haul box truck with a friend of mine. They used a fork truck to help unload everything,” he recalled. “They were going to build my jeep for me.”

Block said seven or eight months went by and he had to receive any progress photos.

“They were like, ‘oh, we lost some employees and we’re trying to get new employees. We’re working on getting it done.’ And I’m like, ‘ok, but what’s the deal?’” Block explained. “Basically, excuse after excuse.”

Block, who was living in Chicago at the time, called his friend to go check on the Jeep. His friend reported back and said the vehicle was still ‘in a thousand pieces,” and that there had been no progress.

Two years later, Block claimed he still hadn’t heard much from the business. He called the CBS4 Problem Solvers for help.

“It’s killing me,” he said. “It’s just incredibly frustrating.”

CBS4 drove to Whiteland and visited “Just Lift It.” The employees there pointed to the axel assembly, claiming it was completely rusted out. One worker said he wasn’t comfortable installing it in Block’s vehicle and that he had messaged Block months ago about it. Block acknowledged the message, but said he had replied and said he had offered up a brand new component.

“There are new knuckles,” he wrote. “You didn’t have to wait 13 months to tell me that.”

CBS4 tried calling the owner several times, but never got a hold of him. Our messages were not returned.

“I don’t understand how these guys can treat somebody like that,” Block said. “How do you sleep at night?”

Within days of CBS4’s visit to “Just Lift It,” Block and the business coordinated for him to pick up his vehicle. The company also confirmed it would refund his $5,000.

“I can’t get a break on anything,” Block said, emotional.

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