A property management company filed a lawsuit against Indianapolis Colts defensive end Denico Autry this week alleging that his smoking in the garage of his apartment did more than $30,000 in damages last month, according to the Indianapolis Star.
Autry, per the report, had leased an apartment in August from Viewegh Properties. On Jan. 2, Autry allegedly started a fire in the garage while smoking a cigar. That fire caused “significant damage” to the garage, and smoke from that fire damaged other parts of the apartment and surrounding properties.
Autry, according to the lawsuit, then moved out and abandoned the apartment about 10 days later. The day after the fire, Autry started for the Colts in their 28-14 win against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Both Autry’s agent and the Colts declined to comment to the Indianapolis Star.
“Autry breached this duty by starting the fire, and by smoking in the Leased Premises, which is prohibited by Indiana law,” the lawsuit reads. “But for Autry’s breach of this duty, the fire would not have started, and Viewegh would not have been damaged."
Autry, 30, had reportedly received multiple complaints from neighbors soon after arriving for smoking in his apartment, “including many for marijuana smoke odor.” Viewegh, per the lawsuit, contacted Autry’s real estate agent and asked him to stop smoking, though he allegedly continued doing so and kept receiving complaints through the end of the year.
The lease requires that he assumes “all risk and responsibility for accident, injury or damage to person and property."
“My client and I are both big fans of the Colts organization and don't condemn anyone's personal choices,” Viewegh attorney Paul Jefferson told the Indianapolis Star. “But when those choices impact others, the right thing to do is make it right. It's unfortunate Mr. Autry requires the legal system to do that, but that's what courts are for.”
Autry recorded 33 tackles last season for the Colts, his third with the team after spending his first four seasons in the league with the Oakland Raiders. He is set to become a free agent this offseason following his three year, $17.8 million deal with Indianapolis.
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