Several Minor League Baseball teams have fought back a bid by three arms of insurance giant Nationwide to dismiss their business interruption lawsuit over the insurers’ refusal to cover losses stemming from their canceled season.
In the suit filed in Arizona, the teams claimed that the insurers, which consist of National Casualty Co., Scottsdale Indemnity Co., and Scottsdale Insurance Co., have ignored the other causes of the loss by focusing on virus exclusion.
The teams argued that the exclusion for any disease-causing “virus, bacterium, or other microorganism” does not apply to its claims that the season was canceled because of Major League Baseball’s (MLB) refusal to provide players and the government-imposed shutdown intended to curb transmission of COVID-19.
The baseball teams’ suit stemmed from a case originally filed against several insurance providers in Pennsylvania last June. The teams later dropped the suit and refiled in Arizona, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, targeting individual insurers.
The complaints in Arizona and New Jersey came days after MLB decided not to loan players to minor league teams and to cancel the entire 2020 minor league season because of the pandemic.
A lawyer for the teams told Law360 that the “key legal issues are now teed up for court resolution” and that they are “looking forward to that resolution and being able to move forward in pursuit of these claims.”
Representatives for the insurance companies could not immediately be reached for comment, according to a report by Law360.