Judge Denies Insurer's Motion to Dismiss Portions of Metallica Lawsuit


AUSTRIA-MUSIC-METALLICA

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A judge today denied a motion by Lloyd's of London to dismiss most of Metallica's lawsuit alleging the insurer wrongfully refused to compensate the band for financial losses suffered when the group was forced to postpone six shows in South America in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Holly J. Fujie found there were enough facts for the band to move forward with its breach of contract claim, which automatically means the second challenged claim for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing will therefore also remain part of the suit.

“The court finds, especially given the allegations in the complaint, that (Lloyd's) inadequately investigated (Metallica's) insurance claim,'' the judge wrote.

Metallica's third claim in the lawsuit asks for a judge's finding that the band is entitled to insurance coverage for its losses, but that cause of action was not part of Friday's defense motion.

The suit filed June 7 states that Metallica began an eight-show tour with two shows in San Francisco in September 2019, and six more shows were set to take place in South America beginning in April 2020 in Santiago, Chile. But by that time, nearly 100% of the world's destinations had COVID-19-related travel restrictions, and Metallica had to postpone those last six shows, according to the suit.

Before the tour, Metallica bought a standard “cancellation, abandonment and non-appearance insurance'' policy in case any portion of the tour was canceled or postponed and the band “timely turned to (Lloyd's) for the promised and reasonably expected coverage for their losses,'' the suit says.

However, citing the policy's communicable disease exclusion, Lloyd's “denied any coverage obligation whatsoever based on an unreasonably restrictive interpretation of the policy,'' according to the band's court papers.

Metallica, formed in 1981, has sold more than 125 million records, won nine Grammy Awards and routinely sells out concert venues worldwide.

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.


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