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Grand Ole Opry owner alleges negligence

Tennessee readers may recall an incident a while ago involving the flooding of a beloved Nashville landmark: the Grand Ole Opry.

Recently, the company that owns the property, Gaylord Entertainment, brought a civil lawsuit in federal court, seeking to recoup more than $250 million in property damages. The complaint alleged that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers should be liable for the damages because they did not adequately respond to the large-scale flooding in parts of Nashville.

The company claims that corps officials failed to lower water levels of the Cumberland River behind the Old Hickory Dam, despite receiving clear warnings from the National Weather Service about incoming torrential rain. The rain amounted to more than 13 inches over two days, raising water levels in the dam. When Army corps members then released water from the dam, the flooding reached the Grand Ole Opry house. But for those allegedly negligent acts, the owner claims that the Opry would not have been flooded.

However, a federal judge disagreed. Citing the Flood Control Act of 1928, the judge noted that the law gives the federal government immunity from such suits claiming flood damage.

Tennessee residents expect their municipal and governmental leaders to keep public areas safe. If a dangerous condition exists on publicly used premises, taxpaying residents expect officials to take action, usually by including warnings and taking measures to correct the dangerous condition. If you have been injured by an unsafe condition on another's property, a personal injury attorney can advise you whether a recovery may be available against a negligent owner under premises liability or other negligence theories.

Source: Stamford advocate.com, "Suits dismissed against corps over Nashville flood," Travis Loller, Feb. 28, 2013

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