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Equipment rental company sues The Greenbrier

By JAKE ZUCKERMAN

Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Greenbrier Hotel Corporation and two affiliated companies are facing allegations in federal court that The Greenbrier resort failed to pay out on rental equipment damaged the day of the 2016 flood.

Special Event Service and Rental, a Tennessee corporation, alleged in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia that The Greenbrier Hotel Corporation, which runs the titular resort, borrowed equipment from the plaintiff for an event. After the equipment was lost, the resort received a roughly $623,000 insurance reimbursement and failed to transfer the funds to the lender.

The lawsuit does not cite the flood as the agent causing the loss, though it states the equipment incurred damage June 23, 2016, the same date as the devastating flood that killed about two dozen people.

According to information in the filing, The Greenbrier rented equipment from SESR to host The Greenbrier Classic golf tournament. The 2016 tournament was canceled in the days following the flood. Concern for the community facing tragedy and severe damage to the Old White TPC, where the tournament is played, prompted the decision, according to the PGA Tour’s statement at the time.

The lawsuit also names Old White Charities in the suit, which helped put on the tournament, and “John Doe Insurance Companies 1 through 20,” which insured the equipment.

SESR alleged The Greenbrier submitted its insurance claim Sept. 14 and received a reimbursement.

Claiming breach of contract, unjust enrichment and other counts, SESR requested repayment in full, compensatory and punitive damages, interest, and attorney fees.

A spokesman for The Greenbrier declined to comment.

A spokesman for Gov. Jim Justice, whose family owns and operates the resort, did not return a request for comment Friday.

The Greenbrier has been accused in similar lawsuits of failing to pay out for repairs performed in the wake of the flood.

Old White Charities has also been hit with lawsuits of its own. In 2015, insurance underwriters sued the organization, claiming they should not be responsible for money the resort paid out to fans after golfers hit holes-in-one, on the grounds the course did not meet the agreed upon minimum required distance.

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