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Hospital Flooring Dispute Resolved

A legal dispute between a Colorado contractor and Samaritan Pacific Health Services has been resolved through mediation, opening the way for most flooring to be replaced inside the three-story tower at Samaritan’s Newport hospital. Work will begin later this year and is expected to take 18 to 24 months to complete.

“While we are disappointed that our wonderful new hospital developed flooring problems so soon after it opened, we are satisfied with the resolution,” said Lesley Ogden, MD, CEO of Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital.

The general contractor overseeing construction of the hospital’s three-story building and remodeling of an existing two-story building was The Neenan Co., based in Fort Collins, Colorado.

“I want to emphasize this point: the cost of finding the root cause of the failure and the necessary remedial work will not come from the taxpayers of the Pacific Communities Health District who so generously voted to fund this important facility for their community,” Dr. Ogden said.

The Pacific Communities Health District partners with Samaritan in an operating lease agreement of the hospital and related medical facilities.

Aimee Thompson, chair of the PHCD Board of Directors, commented: “It was disheartening to learn of the flooring issues so soon after the building was completed, but I’m thankful that we can move forward now with a cohesive repair plan.”

Problems Detected Soon After Opening

Samaritan first became aware of the problem shortly after the new building opened in January of 2019.

“We immediately began making repairs as needed to keep our patients and staff safe, but the problem has persisted to the point that most of the flooring must be removed and replaced,” Dr. Ogden explained.

The flooring problems include bubbling, flooring separation, curling, material pulling away from the walls and doors, buckling and cracking. It was determined that errors were made throughout the flooring process, from preparation to placement.

Repairs Should Cause Minimal Disruption

Neenan and five subcontractors agreed on a financial settlement that should be adequate to cover the cost of repairs. Samaritan has begun the process of soliciting bids for the work and hopes to begin before the end of the year.

To minimize disruption to patients and staff, repair work will be done in phases and in small sections at a time. Flooring contractors will work with the hospital’s Infection Control and Risk Assessment team to ensure patients and staff are safe and that patient care is not disrupted during the repairs.

“I’m encouraged now that we are moving forward on a solution,” Dr. Ogden said. “Another positive takeaway from this – I am more assured than ever that our hospital and clinic employees are amazingly resilient. Even during the years of construction followed by the challenges of the pandemic, they continued to give their best to each patient, and I know they will continue to do so through this latest challenge.”