After claiming that insurers are refusing to cover the losses suffered by American baseball due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Major League Baseball (MLB) is suing them – according to a CNN report citing a lawsuit filed in October.
MLB an American professional baseball organisation and the oldest of the major professional sports leagues in the US and Canada.
All 30 MLB teams, the baseball commissioner’s office, MLB’s digital and streaming services, MLB Network and Tickets.com have collectively sued their insurance providers. They cited massive property damage and ‘time element’ losses that the clubs and their affiliates have experienced due to the pandemic.
Their lawsuit was filed in Alameda County, California and obtained by CNN. It states claims that MLB purchased “top-shelf All Risks Policies” to protect baseball “against the risk of catastrophic economic losses” that it now faces due to the pandemic.
According to the lawsuit, “baseball paid millions of dollars in premiums year after year because it deliberately bought broad, more protective coverage” but the insurers “have very publicly refused to live up to their contractual obligation to pay what they promised”.
CNN contacted the insurers named in the suit for a response but had not heard back by press time.
As a result of nationwide restrictions due to the pandemic, baseball clubs cancelled more than 1,500 games.
“COVID-19 forced the clubs to play the entirety of this shortened regular season without that core: Fans in the stands,” said the lawsuit.
It also noted that that teams lost the revenue they relied on from ticket sales, concessions, parking, and merchandise sales as well as more than $1bn in losses from local and national media broadcast rights.
“Due to COVID-19, the MLB entities, including those of the 30 major league clubs, have incurred significant financial losses as a result of our inability to play games, host fans and otherwise conduct normal business operations during much of the 2020 season. We strongly believe these losses are covered in full by our insurance policies and are confident that the court and jury will agree,” said MLB in a statement.