By Dan Harkins
ORANGE CITY - As city crews worked around the clock to alleviate flooding from Tropical Storm Fay in summer 2008, they also set into motion flooding damage elsewhere for which Florida Hospital alleges it still hasn't been paid.
In a lawsuit filed in late August against Orange City, the hospital asks for more than $15,000 in damages incurred to its Volusia Medical Center building when a surge of water was released by city workers, who had just removed part of a retaining wall for a retention pond at the southwest corner of Threadgill Place and Harley Strickland Boulevard to alleviate flooding on Harley Strickland.
Hospital spokeswoman Lindsay Rew stated in an e-mail that this so-called "slug" of water "overwhelmed the nearby roadway drainage system," causing "a wave of water to wash into and through" the center.
"But for this 'slug' of water," she wrote, "the Volusia Medical Center building would never have had any water go through it."
The city's insurance carrier has already paid a claim for damages made by one of the tenants of the medical center, noted Ms. Rew, but won't pay the hospital for all the damages caused to its imaging center and an orthopedic surgery firm.
"The insurer has never disputed that the 'slug' of water caused the damage," she wrote in the statement, "and has paid in-full the claim of the other tenant. The insurer refuses, however, to pay the full amount of the hospital's claim."
City spokeswoman Danielle Lung said, "the city doesn't comment on pending litigation."
The lawsuit notes the hospital is barred by state law from suing the insurer directly, so the city had to be sued instead.