MLB, Teams Sue Insurers to Recoup Pandemic Losses

    • The losses total at least $3 billion, according to Commissioner Rob Manfred.
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MLB and its 30 teams are suing their insurance providers to cover losses from playing the shortened, and mostly fanless, 2020 season.

Oakland Athletics v. AIG lists insurance companies AIG, Factory Mutual, and Interstate Fire and Casualty Company as the defendants for refusing to pay claims. Along with MLB and its teams, MLB Network, MLB Advanced Media, and Tickets.com are also listed as plaintiffs.

Building A Case: More than 1,500 games were canceled as MLB played a reduced 60-game season. Teams and the league said they lost billions of dollars in ticket sales, parking and merchandise, as well as more than $1 billion from local and national broadcast rights. The losses total at least $3 billion, according to Commissioner Rob Manfred.

The lawsuit argues the league and its teams bought “top-shelf All Risks Policies,” which they believe should protect against the billions of revenue lost because of the pandemic.

More than 1,400 lawsuits have been filed against insurance companies citing pandemic interruption claims. Twenty-seven of the cases have been from the “performing arts, spectator sports and related” sector, according to the Covid Coverage Litigation Tracer by Penn Law.

  • A group of minor league baseball teams lost a similar case against insurers because of a virus policy exclusion.
  • The Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United have sued insurers to help cover pandemic losses.
  • Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta sued Affiliated FM Insurance Co. this summer to access a $400 million policy.