HomeBroadcastNHL Sues Insurers Over $1 Billion COVID-19 Claims

NHL Sues Insurers Over $1 Billion COVID-19 Claims

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NHL Sues Insurers Over $1 Billion COVID-19 Claims

The NHL, along with 20 of its franchises, have launched a lawsuit against several insurance companies over more than USD$1 billion (AUD$1.4 billion) in unpaid COVID-19 claims.

The league and its teams have claimed the five insurance companies, Factory Mutual Insurance Company, The Cincinnati Insurance Company, Starr Surplus Lines Insurance Company, Lexington Insurance Company, and Federal Insurance Company, failed to provide reimbursement for losses due to COVID-19.

The lawsuit, which was filed in June 2021 in the Superior Court of California in Santa Clara, does not reveal how much the league and its clubs are requesting, despite the league claiming its coverage with Factory Mutual Insurance Company cover for losses from “when a communicable disease physically alters the air and surfaces within the clubs’ arenas, making them unfit for their intended use.”

In the claim, the league said the cancellation of a large number of games and being forced to run the season in two COVID-19 hubs without fan attendance caused the NHL and its teams to spend millions repairing and modifying facilities.

“Fan attendance is a life-blood of the plaintiffs’ revenues,” the NHL’s claim said.

“A significant source of the plaintiffs’ revenue comes from arena-related activities, such as ticket sales, concessions, parking, and in-arena merchandise sales…

“The extra expense the NHL incurred to host the 2020 playoffs and Stanley Cup Final was enormous.

“The hockey plaintiffs’ loss of revenue, initially from cancelled games and then from playing games without fans in the arenas, and their extra expenses to get arenas ready to play and host fans once safe, exceeds one billion dollars,” the claim said.

In response to the claims, a 12 November court motion saw Factory Mutual ask for dismissal, saying: “[The NHL] does not allege any ‘physical loss or damage’ to plaintiffs’ property, which is a threshold requirement of the coverages plaintiffs seek.”

This news sees the NHL join several other major North American sporting leagues in suing insurance companies, including the NBA and MLB.

Elsewhere in the NHL, the 2022 Winter Classic has become the most-watched NHL regular season game in US pay-TV history.

The event drew in 1.4 million viewers on TNT and became the most-watched NHL game on any network so far in the 2021/22 season.

Despite the accomplishment, the previous edition of the Winter Classic, in 2020, drew in 1.97 million viewers on NBC, and was labelled the least watched edition of the event since its introduction in 2008.

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