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Metallica’s Covid insurance lawsuit rejected

The band sued Lloyd's of London over losses from six 2020 tour dates in South America, which were cancelled due to the pandemic

By James Hanley on 21 Mar 2024

Metallica


image © Brett Murray

California’s court of appeals has dismissed Metallica’s lawsuit demanding more than $3 million (€2.75m) in losses for concerts cancelled due to the pandemic.

The band sued Lloyd’s of London over six axed South American dates in 2020, saying they had acquired a standard cancellation, abandonment and non-appearance insurance policy to cover their losses if any of the tour was postponed or cancelled.

But Justice Maria Stratton ruled the shows were not covered by Metallica’s insurance policy because of an exclusion in the contract for any losses stemming from “communicable diseases”, reports Billboard.

The group had argued the case should have gone to trial, as a jury could have decided the gigs were cancelled for non-Covid reasons. But Stratton, who bizarrely quoted Taylor Swift in her ruling, said it was “absurd to think that government closures were not the result of Covid-19″.

“To paraphrase Taylor Swift, ‘We were there. We remember it all too well’”

“To paraphrase Taylor Swift, ‘We were there. We remember it all too well,’” she wrote. “There was no vaccine against Covid-19 in March 2020 and no drugs to treat it. Ventilators were in short supply. N-95 masks were all but non-existent. Patients were being treated in tents in hospital parking lots.

“The mortality rate of Covid-19 was unknown, but to give just one example of the potential fatality rate, by late March, 2020, New York City was using refrigerated trucks as temporary morgues. People were terrified.”

Lloyd’s has not commented on the lawsuit, except to point out that it is not an insurance company, but rather oversees and regulates a market of independent insurers.

Meanwhile, a lawsuit filed by Live Nation in 2021 against insurer Factory Mutual for failing to cover its “unprecedented” losses as a result of the concert business shutdown, is still pending.

 


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