The Athletic Participants Exclusion
Richard Schiller successfully argued recently that the athletic participants exclusion applied to exclude CGL coverage where the injured party was engaged in a practice session for a college sport when he died. The United States 6th Circuit Court of Appeals decided that a wrongful death claim involving a student athlete who died while participating in a practice session for a school sport was not covered by the college’s CGL policy. Mr. Schiller advanced the contention that there was no coverage based on an “Athletic Participants Exclusion” in the policy which the court found to be clear and unambiguous in excluding coverage for bodily injury to any person engaged in sports activities. The appellant contended that the exclusion should only apply when the bodily injury is inherent to the sport. The appellant also contended that an endorsement defining bodily injury to include “Incidental Medical Malpractice” should be interpreted to broaden coverage to include an event where the failure to promptly render medical care is at issue. The Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit agreed with Mr. Schiller that the “Athletics Participant Exclusion” trumped the “Incidental Medical Malpractice” endorsement and thus there was no coverage for the claim.