Kanye West’s touring company, Very Good Touring, Inc. (Very Good), and its insurer, Lloyd’s of London (Lloyd’s), have resolved their dispute over event cancellation coverage for West’s “Life of Pablo” Tour, which experienced canceled shows due to West’s health condition. The settlement resolved all claims and counterclaims.
In our prior blog post, we discussed Very Good’s lawsuit asserting, among other claims, that Lloyd’s failure to timely accept coverage under the nonappearance and cancellation policies was unreasonable and in bad faith because Very Good, West and other affiliates had been forced to endure an invasive and prolonged investigation as part of Lloyd’s efforts to find a basis to deny the claim. Very Good characterized Lloyd’s behavior in delaying to provide a coverage opinion as “emblematic of a broader modus operandi of the insurers of never-ending post-claim underwriting where the insurers hunt for some contrived excuse not to pay.”
We also discussed, here, Lloyd’s counterclaims alleging that Very Good’s loss was due to their own failure to abide by policy conditions. Lloyd’s alleged, without any specificity, that its investigation revealed, among other things, “irregularities” in West’s medical history and that Very Good willfully concealed and/or misrepresented relevant facts to obstruct its investigation.
While the parties were able to amicably resolve their dispute, this case serves as an important example of the lengths that insurers might go to delay payment of a claim while searching for a basis to deny coverage or to simply defeat or reduce the claim through compromise due to policyholder attrition. Such tactics underscore the importance of engaging experienced coverage counsel to evaluate claims and insurer coverage positions and, when necessary, to negotiate a claim settlement that is fair and consistent with the terms of applicable coverage. The case is Very Good Touring, Inc. v. Cathedral Syndicate, et al., No. 2:17-cv-05693 (C.D. Cal. filed Aug. 1, 2017).