Suit claimed Selig fraudulently conspired with Loria

MIAMI -- The lawsuit by the former limited partners of the Montreal Expos against former owner Jeffrey Loria was dismissed Friday when a federal judge approved an arbitration panel's ruling.

A three-member arbitration panel in November ruled against the 14 minority owners on all counts, including one claiming Major League Baseball and commissioner Bud Selig fraudulently conspired with former Expos principal owner Loria to eliminate Montreal and allow him to buy the Florida Marlins.

If the former limited partners had prevailed, they would have sought an injunction to block the Expos' move to Washington, where they were renamed the Nationals.

U.S. District Court judge Ursula Ungaro-Benages accepted stipulations from both sides Friday to end the suit.

The minority Expos owners -- who share in a small stake of the Marlins as well -- claimed in the lawsuit filed nearly three years ago that Selig and Loria violated the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

The suit was filed after the Expos were bought in 2002 for $120 million by baseball's other 29 teams, freeing Loria to buy the Marlins -- which he did for $158.5 million.

The Nationals will begin play in the nation's capital this season.