Just a month after spending nearly $8 million on a new private jet in June 2000, HCA had the misfortune of seeing its new baby damaged in a little accident. Apparently, the Cessna Excel 560XL-5089’s brakes failed, causing the taxiing aircraft to bump into a building at Stevens Aviation.
But what might have been a several hundred dollar dent for a car ended up running a good bit more for the top-of-the-line jet -- especially since the damage was to the nose of the plane where its sensitive avionics are located.
HCA’s repair bill: $3.4 million.
Now the Nashville-based hospital chain is suing in U.S. District Court here its insurers, New York-based United States Aviation Underwriters (USAU) and Hartford Casualty Insurance Co. of Connecticut, over an unpaid bill.
Last February, HCA, USAU and Cessna representatives decided to have the jet repaired at Cessna’s plant in Wichita, Kansas. But defendants USAU and Hartford paid only $2.7 million of the $3.4 repair bill, prompting Cessna to hold the plane until HCA covered the difference.
While USAU was still questioning the validity of Cessna’s charges, HCA concluded it had enough trouble with the luxury jet and coughed up the $589,723 needed to free it from Cessna. HCA later sold the jet.
Under pressure from USAU, Cessna modestly reduced its bill, taking $136,904 off the final installment, which was not enough to satisfy the insurers who still refused to repay HCA’s loss.
HCA Squared LLC, the entity that owns the plane, has asked the court for compensation for USAU and Hartford’s “unfair and deceptive acts.” It is seeking compensatory damages plus an additional $147,430, or 25% of the amount the defendants owe HCA.
Steven Riley and Timothy Harvey, attorneys with Bowen, Riley, Warnock and Jacobson, a law firm here, are handling the case on behalf of HCA.
- ALEX B FRUIN INHERITANCE TRUST; CANDACE F STEFANSIC INHERITANCE TRUST; CANDANCE F STEFANSIC INHERITANCE TRUST; FRUIN, ALEX B TRUSTEE; FRUIN ALEX B INHERITANCE TRUST; STEFANSIC, CANDACE F TRUSTEE; STEFANSIC CANDACE F INHERITANCE TRUST; STEFANSIC CANDANCE F INHERITANCE TRUST
- ROSS, BRIDGETT D
- COOKE, ETHEN LANYARD TRUSTEE; COOKE, ETHEN LEWIS ESTATE
- JACOBS, JESSICA ALEXANDRA; JACOBS, ERIKA BESS