The Greenbrier sues company hired to collect on flood insurance claims

Lawyers for The Greenbrier have filed federal suit against a company hired by the resort to help collect on insurance claims for damage from the devastating 2016 flood. (Source: WV MetroNews)
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WV MetroNews) -- Lawyers for The Greenbrier have filed federal suit against a company hired by the resort to help collect on insurance claims for damage from the devastating 2016 flood.

The lawsuit was filed Friday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, our media partner WV MetroNews reports.

Lawyers for The Greenbrier contend that the insurance claims adjuster Goodman-Gable-Gould did not do enough to help pursue compensation from damage following the flood.

“GGG acted as if they were dealing with a roadside motel, not the historic and architectural landmark that is the Greenbrier hotel,” stated Richard Getty, a lawyer representing the resort.

The Greenbrier, owned by the family of Gov. Jim Justice, is a 240-year-old resort in White Sulphur Springs.

The hotel and surrounding properties were damaged by historic flooding in 2016, and the hotel operators filed insurance claims to aid recovery.

But representatives of The Greenbrier have contended for months that the insurance payouts were inadequate to cover the losses.

Lawyers for The Greenbrier say the recoveries totaled about $39 million and were obtained “with extreme pressure and assistance from Plaintiffs.”

“This is a completely inadequate result,” lawyers for The Greenbrier state in the suit.

Earlier this year, The Greenbrier and related companies sued dozens of insurers. That lawsuit wound up being thrown out of federal court because the defendants had not been officially notified.

Now lawyers for The Greenbrier are suing the company that was hired to ride herd on the insurance claims.

The Greenbrier says the flood damaged the casino at the hotel, roof and structural damage to Colonial Hall, which has a ball room and conference center, six feet of water in a brand new chapel, a flood across the tennis stadium, roof breaks in the hotel and more.

There were also losses of revenue at the hotel and its golf courses, plus the cancellation of The Greenbrier Classic pro golf tournament.

Further damage took place at other Greenbrier properties, including the Sam Snead golf course and the Oakhurst Development, where operators wanted to build a new golf course and ski facility.

Additional damage includes the change in date for the pro golf tournament, which Greenbrier operators agreed to do because of the financial strain. So the tournament moved from its traditional July Fourth week to the fall.

Lawyers for The Greenbrier contend GGG didn’t do enough to pursue compensation for the damages.

The resort entered into an agreement with GGG about July 7, 2016.

By late fall of 2017, The Greenbrier operators terminated the services of GGG, saying it hadn’t lived up to its duties.

Lawyers for The Greenbrier contend GGG failed to properly calculate the resort’s business operation losses “and refused to correct and revise those calculations, despite the plaintiff’s demands that it do so.”

The Greenbrier lawyers also say GGG “made little to no effort to advance the progress of the claims adjustment process and failed to refuse to put pressure on the insurers to respond and settle the claims.”

The lawyers say GGG failed to include claims for the ski resort and the home sales that were lost because of diminished interest.

An engineering company brought in by GGG did not include The Greenbrier’s status as a historic landmark in its repair estimates, the lawyers claim.

And GGG failed to include an adequate claim for the loss of the pro golf tournament caused by the flood, the lawyers contend.

Moreover, when operators of The Greenbrier demanded in September, 2017, that GGG file suit against the insurers because of their refusal to negotiate and settle their claims, the insurance adjuster company refused, the resort’s lawyers say.

Lawyers for The Greenbrier say GGG was compensated but that $609,515 remained in dispute. That money is in an escrow account. The lawyers for The Greenbrier say GGG continues to try to claim that money.

The lawyers for The Greenbrier want a declaration in court that GGG is not entitled to any additional payments related to the claims work from the 2016 flood.

The lawsuit also asks for compensatory damages against GGG.