Hospital Sues FEMA for $17M in Flood Relief Dispute
COLUMBUS, Ind. — In an effort to retrieve $17.1 million in federal funds it was allegedly owed due to damages caused by a massive flood, Columbus Regional Hospital (CRH) is suing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The June 2008 flooding by nearby Haw Creek filled the hospital’s basement to the 12-foot ceiling and partially flooded the first floor, according to IBJ.com. As a result, key medical equipment, such as radiology scanners, ultrasounds and cardiac catherization labs were destroyed.
The flood, which was designated as a federal disaster, caused $167 million in damages and business income losses to CRH. It took five months for the hospital to fully reopen.
CRH claims that FEMA violated federal regulations when it failed to pay the full amount of funds the hospital says it was owed. FEMA reportedly accused the hospital of seeking a “double recovery” because CRH recovered its maximum insurance policy limit of $25 million for business income losses, property damage and other expenses, according to the complaint.
Furthermore, the suit accuses FEMA of hiring unqualified employees who told the hospital it was required replace medical equipment with used instruments found on eBay.
However, FEMA maintained that because the hospital received the insurance payment, the federal reimbursement was to be cut by 64 percent ($15.9 million).
The hospital is also asking the court to award it an additional $1.2 million to replace medical equipment.
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