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"Vindicated? Not Exactly"

by Anne Randall Stewart

Denny Nichols, President of The Recreation Centers of Sun City, Inc., stated in the May 2008 Sun Views that the board had been “vindicated” by the verdict in the Cincinnati Insurance vs. RCSC lawsuit.  Not exactly.  They may be vindicated as far as coverage is concerned, but not if someone had been killed.

The word, “vindicated,” would imply the RCSC did not do anything wrong.  However, the judge found that they were “laymen” and therefore did not know that there was “hidden decay” in the attic; that even if they knew that the electricity had been cut to the air handlers on the roof in 2002 during the Sundial renovation, they did not know the consequences of their not restoring it.  Although there was no trial to determine the facts of the allegation, it is undisputed that “heat, humidity, and chemicals” are corrosive agents emitting from an Olympic-sized swimming pool, an exercise pool, and two steamy spas enclosed in a building.  But, the responsible RCSC representatives didn’t know that.

To deny coverage and save themselves millions to replace the roof, Cincinnati Insurance grabbed at exclusionary clauses.  When they failed with “material defects caused the collapse,” they tried claiming the RCSC “knew, or should have known” that electricity being cut to the air handlers on the roof would have contributed to the decay that caused the collapse.  That did not work either because these are “laymen,” who would not have known the consequences of their inaction, according to the judge.

(Judge's Opinion and Order -- 16 Pgs 24.65 MB)

Sundial Metal Roof Construction 11/15/07
Sundial Metal Roof Construction 11/15/07

This kind of vindication has me worried.  These same laymen are now in charge of erecting a metal roof over the very same chemical-emitting bodies of heated water.  A Google search exposed many incidents of people dying from having a metal roof collapse on them while swimming in an indoor swimming pool. 

Engineers blamed “humidity and chlorine vapors” for the 1986 Sundial roof failure; engineers blamed “heat, moisture, and chemicals” for the 2006 roof collapse.  Vindication so that the insurance covers the loss is nice so we won’t have to pay for the roof replacement; however, what do we do to protect the members from being killed if the same thing happens again?

It is calming to see the massive dehumidification equipment currently being installed at Sundial.  It would further calm us if qualified engineers were hired to routinely inspect the metal roof over the indoor pools to avoid the zipper-like unraveling of pitted metal from corrosion.  (See

The Sun City Formula Registry’s oath: “Remember Sundial” — two tragedies averted.  The Sundial History is on lest we forget.

(Click here for the Sundial History.)

(Click here for Cincinnati Insurance vs. RCSC lawsuit.)

Published: Daily News-Sun, Monday, May 26, 2008, Page A4, OPINION, My view, "RCSC's vindication is fleeting in roof case"
Published: Sun Cities Independent, May 28, 2008, Page 5, OPINION, Letters, "Vindicated? Not exactly"

Contact Anne Randall StewartPHONE_Ringing.GIF
 Phone: (623) 933-6192
Cell: (602) 318-0708



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