Bristol, TN

Settlement Reached in Bristol Hotel Collapse Lawsuit

John M. Dabbs
Photo byJohn Dabbs/Photographer

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. — A recent settlement has ended the legal battle between Tenneva LLC, the developer of a Bristol hotel, and Cincinnati Insurance Company, following a dramatic partial collapse of the hotel during its construction in September 2020. The "joint notice of settlement" was filed in the U.S. District Court in Greeneville, although the settlement details remain undisclosed.

The under-construction Holiday Inn at 933 Shelby Street, which was to become a focal point in downtown Bristol, experienced a structural failure that led to its partial collapse. This incident thankfully resulted in no injuries. An investigation by Thornton Tomasetti, an engineering firm hired by the insurance company, attributed the collapse to the failure of steel load-bearing walls on the second floor, which were not rated to hold the planned weight for the building.

Tenneva LLC sued Cincinnati Insurance Company, seeking up to $8,701,879 in relief, claiming their losses were not covered under their agreement. Cincinnati's policy documents do not cover losses caused by "design, specifications, construction, or workmanship." In a countersuit, Tenneva alleges that Cincinnati delayed its ability to estimate costs, subsequently claiming it was too late for Tenneva to claim attached costs and that Cincinnati never intended to fulfill the payout Tenneva believes they are due. Tenneva requested over $11 million in insurance payout and $2.5 million in statutory damages for breach of contract and other claims.

Approximately three years after the collapse, with the structure remaining untouched, the City of Bristol ordered demolition. The city deemed the structure unsafe and issued a correction order demanding that Tenneva “correct or abate” city code violations. However, Tenneva has been unable to provide a timeline for the repairs, leading to the city's decision to proceed with demolition for community safety.

While the lawsuit has reached a settlement, details about future development plans for the site at 933 Shelby Street in Bristol, Tennessee, remain unconfirmed. The city's decision to demolish the partially constructed hotel reflects its commitment to safety and the community's wellbeing.

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John is a writer and journalist with a passion for travel, adventure, and the outdoors. You can find him at HTTP://

Bristol, TN

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