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The Collaborative Clearinghouse for Lawsuits and Other Claims Against ACE Group Insurance Companies

Famed Resort Sues ACE Over “Derecho” Damages

May 13th, 2014 - The Greenbrier Hotel in West Virginia has sued ACE American Insurance Co. and six other insurers in a loss of business claim stemming from one of the nation’s deadliest wind storms.

Greenbrier Hotel Corp. and The Greenbrier Sporting Club Inc. sued the ACE unit and other insurers that include The Underwriters at Lloyd’s of London in West Virginia State Court. The defendants have since petitioned to remove the matter to U.S. District Court in West Virginia.

The Greenbrier, which has operated since 1784 in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, was damaged by high winds that swept through the area on June 29th 2012. It had been a victim of the “derecho,” a straight-line wind phenomena that formed in Iowa and built as it raced toward the Atlantic Ocean, spreading a path of destruction and death into Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Winds as high as 91 mph accompanied the derecho, and damage estimates nationwide were estimated at nearly $3 billion (with 13 deaths and four million homes left without power). The amount in question with the Greenbrier’s claim is believed to be $13 million, which was the stated loss of business at the 700-room resort. (There was no indication in the suit about the amount of physical damage to the property or insurance issues involving it).

In their removal petition, lawyers for the defendants noted the diversity of citizenship and amount of the potential claim as reasons to be in federal court. They also said that by terms of Greenbrier’s policy with co-insurer Allied Ltd., all disputes are to be handled in Bermuda by arbitration. In fact, the petition said, the Supreme Court of Bermuda ruled on April 8 that Greenbrier should dismiss its lawsuit against that Bermuda-based insurer.

See also June 2012 North American derecho – Wikipedia -

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