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Vol. 10 - Issue 3
April 28, 2021


Insurance Coverage And The Unlucky Baseball Card Collector


Tedd Wilson is an unlucky baseball card collector.  We’re talking Red Sox/Bill Bucker unlucky. This is Cubs/Bartman folks. 

Wilson, who considers himself one of the top experts in the baseball card world, lost some cards under the following circumstances:

“Mr. Wilson travels with his baseball cards. On March 29, 2018, Mr. Wilson flew from Huntsville, Alabama to Las Vegas, Nevada, landing between 8:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. When he arrived in Las Vegas, he hailed a cab. Mr. Wilson brought with him approximately 40 baseball cards, including approximately 30 insured cards, which he carried in a zipped canvas bag. He explained he brought the cards to Las Vegas with him, cards he values at over $150,000, because he is responsible for them, and leaving them at home would put his partner ‘under enormous stress.’”

Wilson had no luck with the cab company in locating his missing cards.  He filed a police report with the Las Vegas police department and made a claim under a State Farm “Personal Articles Policy” that covered collectibles in the amount of $156,000 and change.

State Farm denied coverage “due to your [Mr. Wilson’s] repeated violations of the Conditions to coverage under the policy in the investigation of this claim.” State Farm also explained that Mr. Wilson “failed and refused to comply” with the policy, including making “numerous misrepresentations,” refusing to “answer questions related to the claim,” and “intentionally concealing relevant information.”

Litigation ensued.  Following a lengthy opinion, the court in Wilson v. State Farm General Insurance Co., No. 20-324 (N.D. Ala. March 31, 2021) concluded that Mr. Wilson’s failure to comply with the policy’s post-loss requirements precluded coverage.

As for that bad luck, according to State Farm, “since 1998, Mr. Wilson has submitted at least five separate insurance claims ‘that are almost identical to the one he submitted’ in this litigation.”

The court also took judicial notice of other lawsuits in which Mr. Wilson has been involved regarding claims for lost baseball cards.

In April 2006, Mr. Wilson sued Vigilant Insurance Company in Florida state court. Mr. Wilson alleged that he lost approximately 46 baseball cards while in transit from his home in Fort Lauderdale to Las Vegas. 

According to Vigilant, Mr. Wilson “failed to provide virtually any of the documentation requested by Vigilant to support his ownership of the baseball cards or to verify the circumstances surrounding the alleged loss or theft.” He also “failed to comply with the terms of the policy . . . by consistently and repeatedly refusing to answer relevant and material inquiries from Vigilant’s counsel at the Examination Under Oath. He “failed and refused to fully and truthfully answer relevant inquiries regarding his background, his employment history, his insurance history, his financial condition, the purchase history of the baseball card collection, his activities at the time of the loss, and the documentation and verification of his claim.” 

In June 2013, United National Insurance Company sued Mr. Wilson in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Mr. Wilson had made a claim for an alleged burglary loss, resulting in the loss of collectible baseball cards. According to the court, “United’s investigation of Mr. Wilson’s claim revealed ‘at least two prior disputed insurance claims involving an alleged loss of collectibles, at least one of which was under circumstances substantially similar to the instant loss.’” 


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