Two Little League teams in the Southwest Region Tournament that failed to play after positive COVID tests have filed a civil lawsuit against Little League Baseball Inc. here in the Lycoming County Court.
Two adult members of the Needville Little League and the Tulsa National Little League tested positive for the virus, but the teams and their lawyers said in the lawsuit that the saliva test results were false positive.
Needville’s assistant coach Mike Park tested positive for the virus, as did Sam Treat, a Tulsa National Little League coach, but her lawyers claim the results are unreliable, saying the Little League arbitrarily disqualified her from the tournament which ended any hope of making it to the Little League World Series at South Williamsport, which begins Thursday, court documents say.
The teams claim the Little League is in breach of contract and used unreliable testing to disqualify the teams, despite trying to adhere to strict procedures to reduce the threats of infection with the virus to athletes or coaches.
The teams argue that despite real knowledge that the results were incorrect, Little League officials refused to reinstate the disqualified teams, depriving youth athletes of a golden opportunity and chance, perhaps at the Little League World Series in South to play Williamsport.
The team’s lawyers are calling for a jury trial.
Little League Inc. replied on its website. The Needville Little League was one of three teams withdrawn from the tournament due to positive COVID tests, according to a statement from Little League International.
The organization made the following statement:
“Little League International has been notified of at least one positive COVID-19 test on multiple teams participating in the Little League Baseball Southwest Region Tournament. The teams affected are the Mississippi State Champion, the Oklahoma State Champion, and the Texas-East State Champion.
“In consultation with its medical advisors, Little League International has informed the teams that they will no longer be able to participate in the tournament.
“Team members and their families have been advised of all appropriate health measures to ensure that everyone is cared for and that appropriate isolation and quarantine measures are followed.
“First and foremost, Little League International wishes everyone a full and healthy recovery.”
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