Texas hospital seeks $9.1M in lawsuit after gas explosion

Coryell Memorial Hospital in Gatesville, Texas, seeks $9.1 million in a lawsuit filed against the general contractor and insurance company involved in a June natural gas explosion, according to a Killeen Daily Herald report.

The lawsuit, filed against Adolfson & Peterson and Zurich American, is related to the central utility plant explosion that killed three construction workers and injured 13 others.

At issue is a project that began in 2016 at the utility plant building. The project, which Adolfson & Peterson worked on, is intended to include new operating rooms, a new 25-bed hospital portion, a 16-bed rehab center and new administrative offices.

The complaint alleges that the insurance company paid Adolfson & Peterson $2 million that should be owed to the hospital as part of a $9.1 million settlement from the builder's risk insurance policy. The hospital also claims that it was not notified of the $2 million payment.

"In December 2018, Zurich presented AP and Coryell an 'undisputed settlement offer' of $9,139,966.58 for the [utility plant] remediation and reconstruction work," the complaint says, according to the Herald.

"In doing so, it reflected the 'net' amount of this offer as $7.1 million — predicated on the unsubstantiated prior advance to AP of $2 million. Both Zurich and AP again failed to provide any material details or information to Coryell concerning this purported advance."

The complaint states that the hospital "will suffer imminent and irreparable harm" without a temporary injunction in place to prevent the contractor and Zurich from negotiating a settlement amount.

Overall, the hospital seeks the full $9.1 million settlement amount so rebuilding of the impacted area can take place and the expansion project can move forward.

The contractor expressed disappointment about the lawsuit in a news release obtained by the Herald.

"We are surprised and disappointed Coryell suddenly changed course and opted to pursue a litigation strategy instead," said Corbett Nichter, president of the Gulf States Region for Adolfson & Peterson. "AP disagrees with Coryell's allegation that our team breached any of its contractual duties."

Hospital officials told Becker's that Coryell "took this action to protect the interests of the hospital and community we serve. Rebuilding the CUP is the first step to completing Coryell Health's expansion, which will allow us to better serve the health needs of the community." Zurich did not immediately respond to the Herald's request for comment.


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