A former Winchester rental company is suing the city of Winchester and other defendants, alleging that the company was wrongfully denied an insurance claim after its downtown building collapsed because the city failed to maintain its stormwater drainage system.
Cartwright Rentals on Monday filed a lawsuit in Clark County court against Winchester, the Winchester Municipal Utilities Commission, Kentucky League of Cities (KLC) Insurance Services, and KLC Insurance Agency.
Cartwright Rentals owned a commercial building located at 14 East Broadway Street in Winchester, which the company said collapsed due to extensive damage to the culvert and culvert walls during “unexpected rainfall,” according to court documents.
At the time of the fall, it was confirmed by the city and their construction company, Palmer Engineering, that there were obvious structural failures for the culvert, and areas of washout disturbed some of the houses under the floor slab, according to court records.
On the day of the collapse, 2.78 inches of rain fell, according to court documents cited by the Kentucky Mesonet, the state’s weather resource. Cartwright Rentals said in its lawsuit that this was not an unusual or unprecedented season.
When the building collapsed, Cartwright Rentals was insured by KLC Insurance Services and KLC Agency.
In May 2022, the insurance company and the insurance agency rejected Cartwright Rentals for their claims, saying that “there is no liability on the part of the City of Winchester for the damage to your property,” and that the agency “cannot help pay for the damage and/or repair of the property.” yours,” according to court reports.
The basis for the refusal was that “the flooding (on) the land was caused by the lack of capacity within the system to deal with the heavy rains from the catastrophic storm, so that no reasonable city can design and build,” according to court documents. .
But Cartwright Rentals has disputed the denial’s explanation, saying in the lawsuit that the building’s collapse was caused by “deterioration” of the sidewalk, which the company said the city was responsible for.
“The collapse of the building and the damage to Cartwright Rentals was apparently not caused by water intrusion, rather it was caused by the problem of damage to the culvert walls and walls,” Cartwright Rentals said in its lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleges that the insurance denial did not address Cartwright Rentals’ losses related to the building’s collapse — about $3,700 a month through commercial and residential mortgages, according to court documents.
Court documents allege that KLC Insurance Services and KLC Agency failed to investigate claims filed on behalf of Cartwright Rentals and failed to file a claim. The document also alleges that the defendants acted negligently as a necessary ground for denying the charge.
The lawsuit alleges that KLC’s insurers “acted in an outrageous manner against Cartwright Rentals” by failing to properly investigate insurance claims and misrepresenting insurance-related matters.
Cartwright Rentals claims in its lawsuit that the city and township company were negligent, and that the insurance companies and agency companies violated the Kentucky Unfair Claims Settlements Practices Act.
As a result of the collapse, Cartwright Rentals sold the building to the city because it was no longer livable or safe, and it needed to be demolished, court documents said.
The collapsed house was also the same as the one where the child fell
After Cartwright Rentals sold the building to the city, it was denied occupancy, according to court records. A child fell from the roof of the building in April and was seriously injured, Elliott Miller’s attorney confirmed. Miller is representing Cartwright Rentals in the lawsuit.
The boy, identified as Kameron May, suffered a fractured skull and other injuries, according to the Winchester Sun newspaper. He was in critical but stable condition after the incident, according to a Winchester Sun.
Winchester Mayor Ed Burtner said he had not seen the case, and had no comment on it. He also did not comment on how the city takes precautions to keep people out of illegal buildings.
Winchester, Winchester Municipal Utilities and the Kentucky League of Cities Insurance had not issued a legal response to the lawsuit as of Wednesday morning.