Court Denies Coverage for Carmel, IN, Soccer Team

In June of 2004, 17 players and two coaches of a local youth soccer team, Carmel Commotion, were involved in a car accident while attending a tournament in Colorado.  The team was riding in a rented van, en route to a white water rafting excursion – a team-building activity – when they collided with another vehicle.  The van flipped multiple times, before finally coming to rest upside-down.

Earlier this month, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that the players injured in the crash could not recover under the Indiana Youth Soccer Association’s (“IYSA”) business auto-insurance policy, despite that the tournament trip was approved by the Association.  The Court determined that the team was not using the van in the business of the IYSA, a condition of coverage under the relevant policy.  The majority opinion identifies the IYSA’s three lines of business: promoting, regulating, and conducting soccer competition and related events.  Because “the IYSA is not in the business of ‘competing,’” the Court determined that Carmel Commotion’s accident during a soccer tournament trip fell outside the coverage in question.

Justice Dickson dissented, contending that the policy language was ambiguous and should have been construed to provide coverage for the crash.

View Supreme Court ruling.

About Bose McKinney & Evans LLP

Bose McKinney & Evans LLP is a business law firm, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, serving both publicly held and privately held businesses, governmental entities and high-growth industries. Our clients include Fortune 100 companies, international manufacturers, national and regional financial institutions, agribusinesses, sports teams, university-incubated start-ups, media, utilities, cities and schools, to name a few. We strive to build strong relationships with our clients as key business advisors, to exceed expectations in the quality of our work, to be knowledgeable about our clients’ businesses and sectors, to be responsive to service needs and to continually seek to improve the delivery of client services. Our ultimate focus is on our clients.
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