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Grand Rapids to pay $7.6M for 2013 flood damage

plaza towers grand rapids 2013 flooding.png
Posted at 11:34 AM, Feb 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-19 16:07:27-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A jury has determined the City of Grand Rapids will have to pay a condominium association $7.6 million to pay for flood damage in 2013.

The verdict brought an end to a seven-year legal battle between the city and the Plaza Towers Condominium Association. The Grand River reached historically high levels in 2013, flooding the lower floor of the parking garage at the Plaza Towers high rise, displacing about 1,000 people.

"We are disappointed by this decision and we are considering all of our options," the city said in a statement.

Varnum, which represented the condo association, says the flooding happened as a result of Grand Rapids removing a section of the flood wall, allowing the river to flow into the parking garage. The law firm said Grand Rapids blamed a poor drainage system that allowed groundwater to seep into the building.

The lawsuit was originally dismissed in Kent County Circuit Court but was later reversed by the Michigan Court of Appeals.