The Los Angeles Lakers are suing the team’s insurer for breach of contract, alleging the company refuses to pay for losses incurred by the COVID-19 shutdown and the closure of Staples Center.
The complaint filed Monday in Los Angeles federal court alleges that a unit of Chubb Ltd. “curtly dismissed” the Lakers’ claim without investigating the facts surrounding the NBA team’s request for a payout.
A Chubb representative said that as a matter of policy, the company does not comment on legal matters.
Staples Center is closed to the public as a result of state and local regulations stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.
While not specifying the amount allegedly owed, the Lakers’ court papers say $145,052 in premiums was paid for an all-risk policy issued by Federal Insurance Co. that provided $89.4 million in coverage, including $47.6 million for business interruption. According to the lawsuit, the coverage does not include a virus exclusion.
The team “suffered tens of millions of dollars in lost revenue from ticket sales, media rights, sponsorships, and other sources of revenue,” the suit says.
According to the complaint, the insurance carrier dismissed the Lakers’ claim “with a form letter … pushing the false narrative that losses from COVID are somehow not covered claims.”
The Sacramento Kings filed a similar lawsuit last week against that NBA team’s insurer.