Every Major League Baseball team has joined the commissioner’s office and the league’s digital and streaming services in a lawsuit against their insurers over financial losses during the coronavirus pandemic.
In the lawsuit, dated Oct. 16 and obtained by CNN, the plaintiffs argued they bought “top-shelf All Risks Policies” to protect against losses such as those caused by the pandemic.
"Baseball paid millions of dollars in premiums year after year because it deliberately bought broad, more protective coverage" the lawsuit states, but the insurance companies "have very publicly refused to live up to their contractual obligation to pay what they promised.”
MLB has been left with the shortest season on record due to the pandemic, which has forced the cancellation of over 1,500 games. Revenues lost due to the virus include money they would have made from ticket sales, parking and merchandise, according to the lawsuit, which also says the loss of local and national broadcast rights cost the plaintiffs more than $1 billion.
While the league’s 30 teams typically play 162 games each, not counting the postseason, MLB postponed Opening Day for four months before beginning a 60-game season this year, according to the network.
Nearly all games were played without fans present except for reduced-capacity games during the National League Championship Series and the World Series.
"Due to COVID-19, the Major League Baseball 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," Major League Baseball said in a statement, according to CNN.