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Marlins win again: Lloyd?s of London on hook to pay Alex Fernandez


April 24, 2008 By: Billy Shields


The Florida Marlins pulled off another win Wednesday as the 3rd District Court of Appeal smacked a summary judgment against them out of the park.


In an unsigned opinion, a three-judge appellate panel ruled Lloyd?s of London may be on the hook for an insurance policy covering three-fourths of retired pitcher Alex Fernandez?s $35 million salary.


Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Ronald M. Friedman awarded Lloyd?s summary judgment in 2006.


He concluded Lloyd?s wasn?t liable because the team did not obtain the insurer?s consent to assign the policy to new owners when billionaire H. Wayne Huizenga sold the Marlins to John W. Henry in 1999.


?We didn?t consent, end of story,? said solo appellate lawyer Joel S. Perwin in Miami, who represented Lloyd?s. Unfortunately, he noted, the appellate court didn?t see it the same way.


Attorney John Pelzer, who represented the Marlins, did not return calls seeking comment.


Fernandez is remembered as a heroic pitcher who went down with shoulder pain in the National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves before the Marlins won the World Series in 1997.


The Marlins sued Lloyd?s shortly after the 2001 team sale to Jeffrey Loria, alleging it had reneged on the contract to provide Fernandez with disability insurance.


The Miami native won the NL Comeback Player of the Year Award in 1999 but was plagued by rotator cuff injuries in later years and retired in 2001, finishing with a 107-87 win-loss record and a 3.74 ERA.


The reversal may end up being a walk-off home run for the Marlins.


Senior Judge Alan R. Schwartz noted in a concurrence, ?There is nothing to preclude the trial court, after remand, from entering a summary judgment on the pertinent issue in favor of the Marlins.?


Judges Melvia Green and Vance Salter agreed with the unanimous decision.

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It is still going to a long time before the Marlins or anyone sees a penny of this. And remember Alex Hernandez has already been paid his $$, this isn't finding money in the street, this a reimbursement (if it goes through) for monies already spent. And it all depends on how the transfer of ownership (contracts) dealt with this if they did at all. I don't know, I don't pretend to know but I do know the author got his dates wrong, Loria bought the team in 2002 not 2001.

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