Kanye West is suing insurer Lloyd’s of London and its various syndicates for $10 million, alleging that they are withholding paying out claims from the rapper’s canceled Saint Pablo tour, according to a complaint obtained by Rolling Stone. West’s lawsuit alleges breach of contract and breach of good faith and fair dealing. The Hollywood Reporter first reported the lawsuit.
Per the suit, Lloyd’s has yet to fulfill the loss claim West’s company, Very Good Touring Inc., filed last November, two days after the rapper called off his tour and checked into a psychiatric center at UCLA after suffering a psychological breakdown. At the time, West had abruptly ended two concerts after delivering bizarre rants where he made controversial statements about Jay-Z, Beyoncé and then-president-elect Donald Trump.
A representative for West did not immediately return Rolling Stone‘s request for comment. A representative for Lloyd’s of London declined to comment. West’s lawyer, Howard King, referred Rolling Stone to the complaint.
In his new lawsuit, West claims that Lloyd’s has neither paid the claim nor denied it. The suit accuses the insurer of not providing “anything approaching a coherent explanation about why they have not paid, or any indication if they will ever pay or even make a coverage decision, implying that Kanye’s use of marijuana may provide them with a basis to deny the claim and retain the hundreds of thousands of dollars in insurance premiums paid by Very Good.”
Furthermore, the suit suggests that West’s insurers and/or their agents “purposely and maliciously” disseminated “privileged, private and personal information” about West to the press in order to undercut his claim. While no specifics were given in the lawsuit, The Hollywood Reporter notes, “tabloids have been pushing for information about the canceled tour and its aftermath, raising everything from drug use to song lyrics as fodder.”
West’s lawsuit does, however, offer some additional details about his psychological breakdown and eight-day stay at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Hospital Center. Per the suit, West continues to to be treated by the primary physician who oversaw his care at UCLA and that doctor has confirmed in sworn testimony that West “suffered a debilitating medical condition, requiring that Kanye not continue with the tour.”
But Lloyd’s was apparently not satisfied with this assessment and, per the suit, began to take measures to rebuff the claim. To start, the suit alleges Lloyd’s chose to hire legal counsel to oversee the adjustment of the claim, rather than the standard practice of retaining a non-lawyer insurance adjuster. Furthermore, the insurers “hand-selected” another doctor to conduct an independent medical examination not long after the rapper’s release from UCLA. While the lawsuit claims this doctor “was predisposed to look for some reason to deny the claim,” the doctor ultimately reached the same conclusion as West’s primary physician. The insurers then demanded West, and at least 11 other affiliates, participate in an examination under oath.
The lawsuit accuses Lloyd’s and its subsidiaries of requesting further examinations under oath from people Very Good “has no control over” as one way of stalling a potential payout. The suit also alleges that instead of responding to Very Good’s inquiries about the claim, the insurers have continued to note provisions that may allow them to deny the claim while not stating whether or not those provisions “apply to the facts or serve to preclude coverage.”
“Performing artists who pay handsomely to insurance companies within the Lloyd’s of London marketplace to obtain show tour ‘non-appearance or cancellation’ insurance should take note of the lesson to be learned from this lawsuit: Lloyd’s companies enjoy collecting bounteous premiums; they don’t enjoy paying claims, no matter how legitimate,” the suit reads. “Their business model thrives on conducting unending ‘investigations,’ of bona fide coverage requests, stalling interminably, running up their insured’s costs, and avoiding coverage decisions based on flimsy excuses. The artists think they they’re buying peace of mind. The insurers know they’re just selling a ticket to the courthouse.”
~ Master Yoda