April 18, 2006
Astros file suit over Bagwell insurance claim

As expected, the Astros have filed suit to collect on their disability insurance claim for Jeff Bagwell.

Bagwell, who is on the 15-day disabled list with arthritis and bone chips in his right shoulder, was deemed disabled as a professional baseball player by two physicians in January. On those reports, the Astros based the claim they filed on Jan. 27, four days before the policy’s deadline.

But on March 13, 2006, Connecticut General sent a letter to the Astros notifying that they had denied the claim. The Astros appealed, citing Bagwell’s declarations last month that the pain had become too great for him to play.

Based on Andrews’ findings and Astros physician Dr. David Lintner’s assessment, the Astros deemed Bagwell a disabled player and filed the insurance claim Jan. 27 to recoup $15.6 million of the $17 million he’ll earn this year in the final guaranteed season of his contract.

"The reason we’ve filed is because Connecticut General Life Insurance has continued to not live up to its obligation," [Astros attorney Wayne] Fisher said.

As commenter Kyle said in the previous post, this will likely come down to how "disability" was defined in the policy, and which side is attempting to stretch that definition the farthest. Should be interesting to watch.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 18, 2006 to Baseball | TrackBack