A Nashville, Tennessee, hospitality and entertainment company and an Ashland City-based commercial water heater manufacturing company are teaming up to file a lawsuit against the federal government after property – including a historic venue – experienced heavy foundation damage following the spring 2010 flood of the Cumberland River.
Gaylord Entertainment Company, which says it sustained more than $250 million in damages during the flood, is claiming the National Weather Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers created a man-made flood by opening up a spillway too soon. This caused foundation damage to some of its buildings, several of which had to be torn down after the floods. According to The Los Angeles Times, one of the company's buildings was the historic Grand Ole Opry. The spill put the venue underwater, causing the backstage area to be destroyed, along with instruments and other equipment. Several other buildings had to be torn down due to the flooding. The Opryland Hotel was closed for six months to renovate.
The plaintiffs are using a strategy similar to one used by a group of New Orleans residents who sued the government following the Hurricane Katrina floods. The lawsuit is being defended by the U.S. Department of Justice. Dean Boyd, a spokesman for the Justice Department said that government lawyers would review the lawsuit and “respond appropriately in court.”