The Greenbrier sues insurance companies for flood losses

By Kyla Asbury | Feb 23, 2019

CHARLESTON — The Greenbrier Hotel is suing a group of insurance carriers it claims failed to pay for substantial insured losses from the 2016 flood.

Greenbrier Hotel Corporation, The Greenbrier Sporting Club Inc., Greenbrier Sporting Club Development Company Inc., Old White Charities Inc., Oakhurst Club LLC, Greenbrier Golf and Tennis Club Corporation, Justice Family Group LLC, the Chesapeake & Ohio Traveler Inc., the Greenbrier Resort & Club Management Co., Greenbrier IA Inc., Old White Club Corporation, and Greenbrier Medical Institute LLC filed the lawsuit on Feb. 15 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.

The hotel claims after the June 23, 2016, flood, which caused catastrophic damage to the hotel and many of its properties, it filed insurance claims with the defendants.

Gov. Jim Justice told West Virginia MetroNews the insurance policies purchased for the hotel were good policies

"I’m a pretty smart business guy," Justice said to the media outlet. "I can tell you that anybody, anybody that you would hire as an insurance consultant, anybody would tell you if they read our insurance policies, they’re really good. It is top of the line insurance. It is the very best money can buy."

Justice told MetroNews it was unfortunate what happened and what happens every day.

"It’s a game. It’s a game. They didn’t deny the claims. They just put off, put off, put off and put off and it just keeps going and going and going," he said to the media outlet.

The hotel claims because of the flood damage caused to Greenbrier properties, it caused the cancelation of the 2016 Greenbrier Classic PGA TOUR tournament and resulted in tens of millions of dollars of damages to The Greenbrier properties and operations.

The hotel made repeated requests to several of the defendants for copies of policies regarding coverage, but documents were not provided in a timely manner, according to the suit.

Greenbrier claims for the last three years, they have attempted to amicably deal with the defendants to fully resolve all damage claims from the flood, but several insurers have not paid out premiums.

Vericlaim has refused to cover the $6.1 million title sponsorship fee the Greenbrier lost when it had to cancel the 2016 tournament, has refused to cover more than $5 million in sponsorship fees the Greenbrier incurred and refused to cover the $10.4 million title sponsorship fee due to PGA America for the tournament, according to the suit.

The hotel claims that the defendants did not act in good faith or timely or fairly pay the losses the hotel incurred.

"The Justice Family is fully committed to pursuing this litigation to the end in order to receive full compensation for the horrendous losses which resulted from the 1,000 Year Flood and the insurers’ failure to promptly pay what was due to The Greenbrier entities," a press release from the hotel states.

The hotel claims the defendants' actions denied the hotel from having the opportunity to fully profit from their businesses.

The hotel is seeking compensatory damages in the amount of $600 million. The hotel is represented by Michael W. Carey and John A. Kessler of Carey, Scott, Douglas & Kessler; Richard A. Getty and Danielle Harlan of The Getty Law Group; and Laurence J. Zielke and Janice Theriot of Zielke Law Firm.

The defendants in the suit include Ace American Insurance Company (CHUBB); Ace Bermuda Insurance Ltd. (CHUBB); Allied World Assurance Company LTD.; Aon Client Treaty (AUM); Arch Insurance Company; Aspen Bermuda Limited; Aspen Specialty Insurance Company; Unknown Lead Underwriter At Lloyds, London-Brit Syndicate; Colony Insurance Company ; Endurance American Specialty Insurance Company; Evanston Insurance Company (Markel); Ironshore Indemnity Inc.; Ironshore Specialty Insurance Company; Landmark American Insurance Company; Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company; Liberty Surplus Insurance Corporation; Unknown Lead Underwriters Of Lloyds Syndicate (TBD): Lloyds Syndicate AFB, Lloyds Syndicate AMA, Lloyds Syndicate AMT, Lloyds Syndicate ANV, Lloyds Syndicate APL, Lloyds Syndicate ASC, Lloyds Syndicate ATl, Lloyds Syndicate BAR, Lloyds Syndicate BRT, Lloyds Syndicate CHN, Lloyds Syndicate CNP, Lloyds Syndicate HCC, Lloyds Syndicate MKL, Lloyds Syndicate MMX, Lloyds Syndicate Msp, Lloyds Syndicate QBE UK, Lloyds Syndicate RNR, Lloyds Syndicate SJC, Lloyds Syndicate TAI, Lloyds Syndicate TMK; George Attipoe; Jamie Martin; Tom Ayton; Simon Duke; Samantha Shaw; Stephen Carr; Jennifer Style; Matthew Narbett; Mark Ladbrook; Mapfre; Nov Ae Bermuda Underwriting LTD; Oil Casualty Insurance LTD (OCIL); QBE Insurance Corp.; RSUI Indemnity Insurance Company; Sompo Japan Insurance Co. Of America; Starr Surplus Lines Insurance Co; Swiss Reinsurance America Corpora Tion; Tokio Marine America Insurance Company, LTD; XL Catlin Insurance Company; XL Insurance (Bermuda) LTD; Resort Hotel Association Inc.; Resort Hotel Insurance Services Inc.; Resort Hotel Insurance Company; Bankers Insurance, LLC; and Vericlaim Inc.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia Case number: 2:19-cv-00118 

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Organizations in this Story

Carey, Scott, Douglas & Kessler, PLLC The Greenbrier U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia Charleston Division

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