RICHMOND, Va.– An executive of Goodman-Gable-Gould/Adjusters International said The Greenbrier Hotel Corporation's lawsuit against GGG was an attempt to get out of paying what it owed for work done after severe flood damage in 2016.
In the lawsuit, The Greenbrier claimed the hotel failed to recoup from insurers the financial losses and damages it suffered.
GGG Executive Vice President Neil Kahn said the companies owned by Gov. Jim Justice's family are using "scorched Earth" tactics to get out of paying what they owe.
"Unfortunately, this kind of legal bullying is a standard tactic used by Justice-owned companies to try to get out of paying what they owe to contractors, lawyers and even the government," Kahn said in an interview with The West Virginia Record.
Greenbrier Hotel Corporation, The Greenbrier Sporting Club, Greenbrier Sporting Club Development Company, Old White Charities and Oakhurst Club filed the lawsuit against GGG in August, alleging their properties were devastated by the June 23, 2016, flood – causing both physical damages to the properties as well as economic damage from the loss of hotel guest revenue and revenue associated with the cancellation of the 2016 golf tournament, according to the complaint.
The Greenbrier claimed GGG failed to meet its obligations under its services agreement and, because of that, terminated GGG's agreement in 2017.
Kahn said even after purportedly terminating the contract with GGG, The Greenbrier entered into another agreement with GGG to escrow funds to resolve any outstanding costs.
"GGG is proud of the work we did to help secure insurance claims for the Greenbrier to support its employees and the greater White Sulphur Springs community," Kahn said.
Kahn said the lawsuit came as a total surprise.
"We stand by our work," Kahn said.
Kahn said The Greenbrier has also yet to live up to its obligations under that agreement.
The lawsuit alleged that GGG failed to properly calculate The Greenbrier's business interruption losses, and refused to correct and revise those calculations despite demands to do so.
GGG made little to no effort to advance the progress of the claims adjustment process and failed and refused to put pressure on the insurers to respond to and settle the claims, the lawsuit said.
"It’s regrettable that the ownership of The Greenbrier wants to try to use federal court, and the court of public opinion, to get out of paying what they owe, but we will vigorously defend our work and our reputation," Kahn said.
Kahn said it is important to note that GGG and The Greenbrier had a close relationship.
"This was not a casual working relationship," Kahn said. "We worked hand-in-hand in a positive, collaborative way. The Greenbrier was actively involved."
In its lawsuit, The Greenbrier is represented by Richard Getty and Danielle Harlan of The Getty Law Group; and Aaron B. Houchens of Aaron B. Houchens PC.
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia case No.: 3:19-cv-00623