Home Page The Publication The Editor Contact Information Insurance Key issues Book Subscribe


Vol. 12 - Issue 4

May 8, 2023


Court Addresses Coverage For The “Nimrod Bull Bash”


The gods were clearly smiling on Coverage Opinions when this gem was handled down late last month from a Minnesota federal court.  In Scottsdale Ins. Co. v. Meech, No. 22-454 (D. Minn. April 25, 2023), the court addresses coverage for the Meeches, insureds who operate a ranch that annually hosts the “Nimrod Bull Bash.” 

The event includes “Cowboy Softball” where participants play softball while bulls roam the field.  Scott Sellers suffered personal injuries during a game.  Sadly, the court does not describe the details of the incident.  Perhaps there was some confusion over whose fly ball it was.  Sellers said “I got it” and the bull said “I got it” and then boom.
The issue before the court was the potential applicability of two policy exclusions: “Athletic or Sports Participants” and “Special Event Participant Exclusion.”  The Meeches agreed that these exclusions applied to injuries suffered by a “participant.” But, they argued, Sellers was not a “participant” because he was not authorized to play.  He did not register in advance nor sign a waiver, as required.

The court was not impressed with the argument, concluding that the exclusion made no distinction between authorized and unauthorized participants.

In a companion case, Peta is suing the Meeches on behalf of the bull for injuries it sustained.  For that claim, summary judgment is pending in the coverage case on the meaning of “participant” since the bull was authorized – in fact required – to play in the game.





Website by Balderrama Design Copyright Randy Maniloff All Rights Reserved