Insurer Sues to Rescind Environmental Coverage for St. Louis Cardinals

February 3, 2006

An insurance company in New York accused the owner of the St. Louis Cardinals of making false claims about contamination on the land under the team’s new stadium and then demanding it pay much of the $14 million cleanup costs.

Greenwich Insurance Co. said that SLC Holdings LLC and the Cardinals should not be reimbursed for cleanup costs and expenses related to petroleum, heavy metals and other materials found at a bus parking lot where the new stadium was built.

In a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the insurance company said it sought to rescind its $20 million pollution liability policy or at least to win a court declaration that the team could not claim coverage for the contamination.

Greenwich said the team claimed in its policy application that no prior environmental audits or studies had been conducted for Busch Stadium or its bus lot site.

In fact, the company said, environmental audits and studies had been completed in 1995 and 1996, disclosing the presence of conditions that would have been relevant to the policy.

The audits noted environmental concerns at the bus lot site due to historical usage that included gasoline service stations, chemical manufacturing and an electric company, the lawsuit said.

The Cardinals are scheduled to play their first game at the stadium, their home opener against Milwaukee, on April 10. Cardinals spokesman Brian Bartow didn’t return a telephone call seeking comment.

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