Lookouts sue insurance company over COVID pandemic


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Major League Baseball is finally back. A 60-game season is on the horizon, with training camp starting July 1. However, that doesn’t mean Chattanooga will see baseball this summer.

The Lookouts are waiting with anticipation to hear from the MLB on what the new plan means for the minor league teams.

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Meanwhile, the Lookouts are one of 15 Minor League Baseball teams filing a mass lawsuit against insurance companies amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

The lawsuit accuses insurance providers of failing to fulfill business-interruption insurance claims.

“It’s extremely frustrating, right?” Lookouts managing owner Jason Freier said. “Even if and when we prevail in the longer run, the time that the teams really need the money, our teams and all the other teams involved in the suit is now.”

Freier says the Lookouts anticipate losing 95 percent of their revenue this year.

According to the lawsuit, minor league teams pay an average of $2 million each year on operating expenses — which is why teams like the Lookouts pay for business-interruption insurance.

However, insurance providers claim the pandemic is not covered since the team hasn’t suffered direct physical loss or damage to property.

“This is a question of us coming out of pocket, for instance, to make up for losses that should have been covered by insurance that we have purchased,” Freier said. “But we are not going to let it become a question of the Lookouts long term viability.”

As far as this season is concerned, there’s no guarantee baseball will be played in the Scenic City.

“We would love to think we would have some minor league season still but at this point, every day that goes by, it becomes less and less likely,” Freier said. “We are all committed to keeping Chattanooga Lookouts baseball in Chattanooga moving forward period. We will have games again. We wish it’s sooner rather than later, but one way or the other the Lookouts will be back.”

Full lawsuit:

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Angela joined the News 12 team in November of 2017 as the weekend sports anchor and reporter. Angela is a proud member of an Army family, which means she has hometowns all over the Eastern Seaboard. Most recently, she calls Peachtree City, Georgia, home, where she graduated from Trinity Christian School and spent her free time driving her purple golf cart. She then headed to Milledgeville, Georgia, to attend Georgia College and State University. A proud Bobcat, Angela graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BA in Mass Communication and represented her December 2016 class as one of three valedictorians. Angela comes to the Scenic City from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where she worked at the NBC affiliate, WMBF News. Before the big move, she worked as Georgia College's Sports Information Assistant, which let her get paid to be the Bobcats' biggest fan. It all started in Savannah, Georgia, though, where she interned for SAV's number one station, WTOC. When she's not working, you can find Angela watching the New York Giants, Rangers or basically any other game that's on. She also loves traveling, hiking and exploring new places, all with her camera in hand. If you have any story ideas, big or small, feel free to reach out to her on Facebook and Twitter, or email her at amoryan@wdef.com."