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Opryland owner sues U.S. government over 2010 Nashville flood


NASHVILLE—Gaylord Entertainment Co., owner of Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry and Opryland Hotel, has sued the U.S. government in connection with the 2010 great Nashville flood that left those businesses and various other Gaylord-owned operations among the more than 2,700 damaged.

The suit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee in Nashville, claims that the May 2010 storm “should have been an endurable, natural event at or below the 100-year flood plain along the Nashville Reach of the Cumberland River.” Instead, the suit contends, government actions created a man-made flood that exceeded the flood plain.

The suit contends that negligence by the Army Corps of Engineers and the National Weather Service contributed to a flood situation worse than would have been created by the rains alone.

Milwaukee-based manufacturer A.O. Smith Corp. whose Ashland City, Tenn., plant was damaged in the flood, also is a plaintiff in the suit. In the suit, Gaylord says it suffered flood-related damages of at least $250 million, while A.O. Smith estimated its flood-related damages at more than $76 million. The companies are seeking compensatory and economic damages to be determined at trial.

The historic 2010 flood left 26 dead and caused an estimated $2 billion in damage.