Private liberal arts university Union College has filed a lawsuit against their own insurance for over$1 million. According to Union, Hartford Fire Insurance unsuccessfully covered the entire cost for fixing all damage as a result of a water pipe that erupted inside Olin Center in February of 2015. Caused by freezing weather conditions, the ruptured pipe led to major damages inside the entire building. The lawsuit was filed in Schenectady County, where the university claimed a loss of $5 million, and that Hartford Insurance currently has not paid back another $1.1 million to completely pay off the repairs made. Hartford Insurance declined to comment on the new lawsuit.
In February of 2015, students inside the Olin Center were forced to leave when the building’s fire alarm system went off after the rupture happened. The result was gallons of water being sprayed in multiple sections of the building, including classrooms, offices, and laboratories. In addition, the students that had to evacuate did not bring any of their personal belongings, including textbooks and computers, and were damaged beyond repair when they went back inside after being given the go-ahead. The investigation concluded a combination of frozen pipes and high water pressure caused by a nearby city construction site led to the rupture, resulting in massive damage.
All cases and offices were relocated after the incident while the school hired a private business to work on the overhaul of getting rid of the water damage. The building’s northern end, which received minimal damage, was open again several days later, while the southern end, hit directly by the water pipe rupture, was closed until the new school semester began in September 2015. In July of 2014, another major pipe burst took place that resulted in serious water damage and flooding of Union College’s Hale House, South College, Old Chapel, and the school’s Rathskeller pub, located right under the Old Chapel. Rathskeller was where that eruption took place and the severity of it shut down the pub until September 2015, opening the same time as the entire Olin Center.
The result of that accident led to a complaint between Hartford Fire and the city of Schenectady. According to Hartford, they claim the pipe failure is on the fault of the city due to roadwork taking place beside Union College and triggered it. Hartford Fire is currently demanding that they reimburse them for the $1.7 million it cost to handle the entire fixings to Union, who is not listed in the lawsuit, according to the complaint. Both lawsuits are now in pending mode within the court while the total auditing and formal findings of who is to blame for what is underway. Stay tuned for updates in this developing story. Pipe Damage Miami