Columbus hospital suing FEMA for $17.1 million

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Columbus Regional Hospital is suing the Federal Emergency Management Agency in an attempt to recover $17.1 million in federal funds the hospital claims it is owed due to damages caused by a massive flood.

The June 2008 flood, designated a federal disaster, caused $167 million in damages and business income losses to the hospital, which did not fully reopen until nearly five months later.

The suit, filed Sept. 15 in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis, accuses FEMA of violating federal regulations, negligence and misrepresentation for failing to pay the full amount the hospital says it is owed.

Specifically, the complaint says “FEMA misapplied and misinterpreted federal law, falsely claiming CRH was seeking a ‘double recovery’ when it knew this was not the case, and CRH demonstrated this was not the case, several times.”

The lawsuit also alleges that FEMA hired unqualified employees who claimed the hospital was required to find used replacement medical equipment on eBay that failed to meet its standards.

The "double recovery" allegation lobbed by FEMA stems from the hospital’s recovery of its maximum insurance policy limit of $25 million that covered business income losses, property damage and other expenses.

The hospital used the funds for payroll expenses, emergency restoration services and general rebuilding and restoration, the lawsuit said.

But FEMA countered that the hospital’s federal reimbursement must be cut by 64 percent—$15.9 million—because of the insurance payment. The hospital also is requesting the court award it an additional $1.2 million for medical equipment it replaced, which brings the total claim to $17.1 million.

“FEMA has wrongfully sought to justify this additional $15,913,492.64 cut in aid by claiming that CRH improperly sought a ‘duplication of benefits’ for its flood losses in contradiction of the Stafford Act and FEMA’s Disaster Assistance Fact Sheet,” the suit said.

The flooding from nearby Haw Creek filled the hospital’s basement to the 12-foot ceiling and partially submerged the first floor.

Key medical equipment destroyed by the flood included radiology scanners, radiography and fluoroscopy systems, ultrasounds, cardiac catherization labs, stereotactic biopsy tables and biochemical analyzers.

The 225-bed hospital also lost employee records, training documents, reference books, diplomas, important phone numbers, as well as “precious photos.”



  • More GOP selfish policies
    You will note that this flood happened during Bubba Bush's watch. Knowing how his administration response to Katrina, is it no wonder the GOP tried to skip out on health care to the people. And since January 2009, has it not been the Republicans who have opposed any spending of money for ANYTHING !
    And Mitch probably turned down stimulus money that could have been used for the infrastructure in and around the hospital.
  • Really
    FEMA wants the hospital to purchase used equipment on ebay!? How common is this practice used by hospitals? Scary!

Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Kent's done a good job of putting together some good guests, intelligence and irreverence without the inane chatter of the other two shows. JMV is unlistenable, mostly because he doesn't do his homework and depends on non-sports stuff to keep HIM interested. Query and Shultz is a bit better, but lack of prep in their show certainly is evident. Sterling obviously workes harder than the other shows. We shall see if there is any way for a third signal with very little successful recent history to make it. I always say you have to give a show two years to grow into what it will become...

  2. Lafayette Square, Washington Square should be turned into office parks with office buildings, conversion, no access to the public at all. They should not be shopping malls and should be under tight security and used for professional offices instead of havens for crime. Their only useage is to do this or tear them down and replace them with high rise office parks with secured parking lots so that the crime in the areas is not allowed in. These are prime properties, but must be reused for other uses, professional office conversions with no loitering and no shopping makes sense, otherwise they have become hangouts long ago for gangs, groups of people who have no intent of spending money, and are only there for trouble and possibly crime, shoplifting, etc. I worked summers at SuperX Drugs in Lafayette Square in the 1970s and even then the shrinkage from shoplifting was 10-15 percent. No sense having shopping malls in these areas, they earn no revenue, attract crime, and are a blight on the city. All malls that are not of use should be repurposed or torn down by the city, condemned. One possibility would be to repourpose them as inside college campuses or as community centers, but then again, if the community is high crime, why bother.

  3. Straight No Chaser

  4. Seems the biggest use of TIF is for pet projects that improve Quality Of Life, allegedly, but they ignore other QOL issues that are of a more important and urgent nature. Keep it transparent and try not to get in ready, fire, Aim! mode. You do realize that business the Mayor said might be interested is probably going to want TIF too?

  5. Gary, I'm in complete agreement. The private entity should be required to pay IPL, and, if City parking meters are involved, the parking meter company. I was just pointing out how the poorly-structured parking meter deal affected the car share deal.