Mercyhealth tells City of Rockford another flood could shut down hospital

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Mercyhealth tells City of Rockford another “catastrophic” flood could contaminate the Rockton Avenue hospital, forcing its closure, a week after its insurance company sued the city for $24.2 million in damages.

In a letter addressed to Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara on Thursday, Mercyhealth President Javon R. Bea says the health provider will not be able to withstand more flood-based damage and may shutter the hospital.

The lawsuit from Federal Insurance Company, alleges the City was negligent in maintenance of the storm drain and sewer system near the hospital. The suit says that on June 18th, 2018, waters backed up and ran toward the hospital, located at 2400 N Rockton Avenue, resulting in a glass window shattering and allowing water to flood into the hospital, resulting in “significant and catastrophic damage.”

Bea said hundreds of contractors were diverted from Mercyhealth’s Riverside campus project to assist with the water issues, to keep micro-organisms in the polluted water from contaminating the entire hospital.

“We saved the Rockton Avenue hospital on June 18, 2018, but in the event of another major water event, we will not have hundreds of trade workers available to us at a moment’s notice. Most likely, the entire hospital would be contaminated, which would result in permanent closure,” he wrote.

No evacuations were ordered during the flooding, but the hospital did have to temporarily stop accepting new patients.

The lawsuit was filed in the 17th Judicial Circuit Court by Federal Insurance Company. The company has requested a jury trial.

A hearing is scheduled for August 29th, 2019.

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