Disabled OKC Vet Seeking Refund For 'Defective' Wheelchair

Monday, September 17th 2018, 7:17 pm
By: Aaron Brilbeck

A disabled veteran, injured in a combat mission, says he spent $16,000 on an all-terrain wheelchair. 

According to Coty Melancon, the wheelchair broke the third time he was in it.  That was two years ago, and the company still won’t give him a refund. 

Melancon is 100-percent disabled after a back injury while serving in the Air Force.  Still he works and gets around the best he can and loves to hunt. 

With the help of donations Melancon was able to buy the $16,000 all-terrain wheelchair. It worked twice before it broke down. 

"It snowed so I thought hey, I'm going to get this thing out in the snow, see what it can do.  And I sat on it, went to go and the right track just would not move at all and it almost pinned me against my garage wall actually." Melancon recalled.

That was in January of 2017.  He says he sent the chair back to the company, Iron Horse Devices, and they promised to fix it, no charge. 

But they didn’t.  So, Melancon demanded a refund, but never received one. 

"Basically, they need to fix it and they need to sell it before they can give me a refund." Melancon said.

Melancon says he’s had e-mail conversations with Iron Horse Devices owner Kathryn Evans, where she told him, quote, “Some people have waited 3 years for our solution. Think about all the vets that were sold the original chair that is still broken. All the troops that can't walk and are not even as lucky.”

"And I literally responded with are you patronizing me right now?  Are you really talking down to me?" Melancon said, "At least treat me like a human being.  Don't treat me as if I’m just dirt. You know?"

News 9 reached out to Evans on her cell phone, at her company, and on social media she has not responded to our request for a comment. 

Melancon says he’s run out of options.

"I got nothing else I can do at this point.” Melancon said, “So I'm pretty much at their mercy unless I can force their hand somehow."