Insurer Says it Settled with Astros Over Bagwell Claim

December 18, 2006

An insurance company said it has settled a lawsuit the Houston Astros filed after the team’s claim to recoup $15.6 million of injured first baseman Jeff Bagwell’s contract was denied.

Connecticut General Life Insurance Co. spokeswoman Gloria Barone confirmed the settlement on the same day Bagwell announced his retirement after 15 years with the Astros.

Barone wouldn’t reveal the specifics of what she said was an amicable resolution.

Houston filed the suit in April, three months after the team deemed Bagwell too injured to play because of chronic shoulder problems. The Astros filed the insurance claim in January to try to get back most of the $17 million Bagwell was to be paid in the final year of his contract.

In March, Connecticut General notified the Astros they had denied the claim. The Astros appealed after Bagwell said the pain in his shoulder had become too much for him and he was placed on the 15-day disabled list with bone chips in the shoulder.

Bagwell tried unsuccessfully to come back in spring training after pinch hitting in the first two rounds of the playoffs and starting at designated hitter in the first two games of the World Series in 2005.

The settlement was first reported by KRIV-TV in Houston. The Astros referred questions to their lawyer, Wayne Fisher, who did not immediately return a telephone message.

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