NCAA loses appeal seeking insurance against student-athletes’ suit

The Indianapolis-based NCAA cannot rely on insurance coverage in a lawsuit brought by student athletes seeking upwards of $1 billion based on antitrust claims challenging caps on compensation for football and basketball players.

The Indiana Court of Appeals on Wednesday rejected the college governing body’s appeal of a Marion Superior Court decision in favor of the insurers related to the federal suit in the Northern District of California, Jenkins et al. v. Nat’l Collegiate Athletic Assoc., 14-cv-2758. The litigation was stayed in 2018 pending resolution of related multidistrict litigation.

The trial court held that NCAA was not entitled to coverage under separate policies issued in periods of 2005-2006 and 2012-2014 by Federal Insurance Company, Illinois National Insurance Company and Westchester Fire Insurance Company. After the NCAA appealed, the Court of Appeals affirmed Wednesday in National Collegiate Athletic Association v. Federal Insurance Company, et al., 19A-PL-1313.

“… (W)e conclude that the Jenkins action is a Claim that is considered made under the 2005-2006 Primary Policy under the Notice/Claim Reporting provision and alleges Related Wrongful Acts that are excluded under the 2012- 2014 Policies pursuant to those policies’ Prior Notice Exclusion,” Judge Patricia Riley wrote in affirming the trial court’s partial summary judgment in favor of the insurers.

“… (W)e hold that no genuine issue of material fact exists that the Related Wrongful Acts Exclusion in the NCAA insurance policies bars coverage for the NCAA in the Jenkins lawsuit,” Riley concluded for the panel in the court’s 24-page opinion.

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