Owners of Noah’s Ark replica ‘museum’ sue insurers… for rain damage

The owners of Kentucky’s ‘Ark Encounter’ creationist museum, a 510-foot-long model of the biblical Noah’s Ark, are suing their insurers for refusing to cover rain damage after a landslide took out their access road.

The attraction’s owner is suing Allied World Insurance, its use company, and three other carriers for refusing to bail out the Ark for nearly $1 million in damages after several months of heavy rains caused a landslide that blocked its access road.

Ark Encounter’s lawsuit indicates the rain lasted for quite a bit more than 40 days and 40 nights, finally sending part of the road sliding down the adjacent hillside, a mishap the insurers initially blamed on faulty workmanship (when the temptation to blame an “act of God” must have been enormous). They eventually conceded they were liable for a small portion of the damages, but the suit – in a section headed “prayer for relief” – demands compensatory and punitive damages, as well as attorneys’ fees, claiming the insurance companies acted with “oppression, fraud, and malice” to deny the claim.

The Ark was undamaged in the flood and the road has since been rebuilt. The Ark Encounter’s PR firm said in a statement to the Louisville Courier Journal that operations were never affected.

Owner Ken Ham claims the Ark Encounter is the largest timber-frame structure on earth, built to the exact bible-approved dimensions of Noah’s Ark, which he and other Christian fundamentalists believe survived a world-engulfing flood with two of every kind of animal aboard. The “museum” features several levels populated with animatronic humans and animals, including dinosaurs.