Fifteen minor league baseball teams, including Adam Hall’s Delmarva Shorebirds, have filed a lawsuit alleging breach of contract by insurance providers after being denied claims for business-interruption insurance due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Major League Baseball announced Monday that it will attempt to play a 60-game regular season, but its minor league clubs — many under threat of losing affiliations amid negotiations with MLB — are unlikely to play until at least 2021.
The likely loss of the 2020 season comes at an already challenging time for the minors. The Professional Baseball Agreement between MLB and minor league team owners is set to expire after this season, and MLB proposed reducing the guaranteed minimum of affiliates from 160 to 120.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, names Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co., Acadia Insurance Co., National Casualty Co., Scottsdale Indemnity Co., and Scottsdale Insurance Co. as defendants. The defendants did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The minor league clubs listed in the suit are the Chattanooga Lookouts, Augusta GreenJackets, Boise Hawks, Columbia Fireflies, Eugene Emeralds, Binghamton Rumble Ponies, Fort Wayne TinCaps, Frederick Keys, Greenville Drive, Idaho Falls Chukars, Inland Empire 66ers, Amarillo Sod Poodles, San Antonio Missions, and Stockton Ports.