A judge has granted a motion by certain underwriters at Lloyd’s of London to dismiss Metallica’s lawsuit alleging the defendants 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 Wednesday there were no triable issues in the heavy metal band’s claims for breach of contract, tortious breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing and declaratory relief.
“The adjuster handling plaintiff’s claim found that the communicable disease exclusion precluded recovery for the shows’ cancellations and that neither of the exceptions applied,” Fujie wrote. “Based on the foregoing evidence, the court finds that (Lloyd’s) has met its burden to show that the proliferation of the COVID-19 caused the cancellations and that it falls under the communicable disease exclusion.”
According to the suit brought in June 2021, 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 stated.
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.