Carrie Rengers

Insurance company sues city over water main break

Citizens Insurance Company of America in Howell, Mich., has filed a lawsuit against the city of Wichita over a water main break that it says caused $829,195.45 in damage at the Courtyard by Marriott in Old Town.

The Wichita attorney who filed the suit refused to comment on it, as did the city.

According to the suit, Citizens has filed as the subrogee of A.G. Holdings, the company that manages the hotel.

Citizens provided insurance to A.G. Holdings for the hotel property at 820 E. Second St. The suit says the company paid A.G. Holdings $536,910.64 for damage inside and outside the Marriott, $68,941.07 for damage to personal property of the company and others and $223,343.74 for business expenses and loss of income.

In October 2012, the suit says, “an over-pressurization event at the local Wichita water facility caused a twelve-inch water main in close proximity to the Marriott building to rupture and explode,” which “caused substantial damage to the interior and exterior of the Marriott building.”

The suit further says the city “breached the duties owed to AG and the general public” in one or more ways.

Though the city isn’t commenting on the lawsuit, interim director of law and city attorney Sharon Dickgrafe says the city was notified in November 2012 that a subrogation claim existed. She says there was not a monetary amount claimed at that time. She says that in June, there was a formal notice that was filed, and the city’s Public Works Department was wrapping up its investigation of the claim when the lawsuit was filed earlier this month.

Look for more details as the case proceeds.

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or Follow her on Twitter: @CarrieRengers.