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Alterra seeks to be freed from obligations to defend NFL in concussion suits

Alterra seeks to be freed from obligations to defend NFL in concussion suits

Alterra American Insurance Co. is seeking a declaratory judgment from a New York court that would free it from obligations to defend the National Football League and NFL Properties L.L.C. against concussion suits brought by former NFL players.

In a filing Monday in the Supreme Court of the State of New York in New York, Alterra asked the court to rule that it is not obligated to indemnify the NFL or NFL Properties and that it has no duty to defend them in the concussion suits in which ex-players or their survivors claim the players' neurological injuries resulted from the NFL's negligence and fraud.

The suits involve thousands of former players with many of them consolidated into a single case in U.S. district court in Philadelphia.

In the filing, New York-based Alterra said it issued the NFL and NFL properties an excess casualty follow form policy effective from Aug. 1, 2011, to Aug. 1, 2012. According to the filing, the Alterra policy had per occurrence limits of $25 million and was excess a commercial umbrella liability policy with $50 million per occurrence limits written by Chartis Inc. and a commercial general liability policy with limits of $1 million per occurrence written by ACE American Insurance Co.

The filing includes a list of nearly 100 concussion actions against the New York-based NFL for which it says the league is seeking defense and indemnification under the Alterra policy. In its filing, Alterra claims that under the terms of the policy it is not required to provide coverage.

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