On Feb. 15, the Greenbrier Hotel Corporation and related entities, including Justice Family Group, LLC, filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court against Resort Hotel Insurance Services, Inc., Ace American Insurance Company and several other insurers and brokers.
A press release issued by The Greenbrier states that the lawsuit is due to “the failure of the insurer group to act in good faith and to promptly and fairly pay the substantial losses incurred seriously impaired the operations of the Greenbrier Hotel and related entities.”
The claims were related to damages caused by the flooding of June 23, 2016, and included impacted properties such as The Greenbrier Sporting Club, the Oakhurst development, The Greenbrier golf course, the Old White TPC Course and the new Oakhurst Course. The flood also caused the cancelation of the 2016 Greenbrier Classic PGA TOUR tournament and resulted in financial losses to The Greenbrier properties and operations.
The press release states that the Justice family spent nearly three years attempting to resolve the insurance claims and receive compensation for the losses, and that The Greenbrier had been paying “substantial” insurance premiums to the various insurers.
“A significant infusion of capital from the Justice Family” was required to keep The Greenbrier operations functioning, says the press release.
The lawsuit states that The Greenbrier directed the Resort Hotel Association (RHA) and the Resort Hotel Insurance Services (RHIS) to, “procure property insurance for Plaintiffs’ properties that would provide sufficient coverage.” However, “RHA and RHIS committed errors and omissions in obtaining policies that contravened these interests of Plaintiffs and grossly negligently failed to adequately disclose to Plaintiffs the existence of the offending provisions.”
As part of the process of formulating their claims, The Greenbrier made repeated requests to RHA and RHIS to provide them with copies of their policies, and it took over twelve months and the filing of a lawsuit to get copies of the policies that The Greenbrier paid for. According to the suit, The Greenbrier believes that one reason RHA and RHIS failed to provide them with the policies was that they knew The Greenbrier was unaware of the golf course “coverage limitations and the international arbitration provisions in certain policies,” and that they would be outraged when they learned about the provisions.
Overall, The Greenbrier estimates their “basic” claim for property damage alone to be in excess of $50 million, with other claims totaling in excess of $55 million for business interruption, extra expenses, expenses to reduce loss, soft costs and loss of rental value/rental income. To date, approximately $37 million of Plaintiffs’ claims have been paid. The Greenbrier states that they are still owed in excess of $75 million from insurers.
More updates will be available as the lawsuit progresses. Court documents are available for public viewing here: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5744869-Greenbrier-Lawsuit.html.