The pandemic disrupted many tour plans, including Metallica’s proposed tour of South America slated to take place in the spring of 2020. But while trying to make up for the financial loss, the group encountered coverage issues with Lloyd’s of London and this led to a legal dispute, which is now allowed to continue after a California judge’s ruling.
According to Business Insurance, a Los Angeles state court refused to dismiss the pandemic-related annulment litigation filed by Metallica despite the exclusion of viruses from coverage. The California Superior Court ruled that the lawsuit could not be dismissed at this preliminary stage because an “immediate cause” had not been established as to the cause of the loss in question.
The tour began with two performances in San Francisco in September 2019 and was scheduled to include six dates in South America, starting April 15, 2020 in Santiago, Chile. But the shows have been postponed due to the end of the pandemic.
The group brought action against Lloyd’s underwriters after refusing to provide coverage, charging breach of contract and tort violation of the implied commitment to good faith and fair use.
Lloyd’s, meanwhile, argued the pandemic caused the cancellation and would therefore fall under police virus exclusion. The Metallica legal team retorted that Lloyd’s “cannot conclusively state that the pandemic is the effective immediate cause of the cancellations, as there are other sufficiently presumed causes that are covered by the policy.”
According to the complaint, this would include “that travel restrictions, the duty to mitigate damage, the need to” flatten the curve “and stay-at-home orders have all caused the show cancellations.”
Metallica’s legal team also argued that although COVID-19 and SARS-Cov-2 still exist, “travel restrictions and restrictions on social gatherings have been lifted and relaxed, suggesting that was something more than the virus / diseases that caused the cancellations “.
Metallica attorney Jeffrey Schulman was quoted by Business Insurance as saying that the fact that “the virus is still pretty much there,” citing concerts and professional sporting events taking place with seated fans, contradicts the argument that the virus alone caused the cancellations.
Metal icons have returned to the concert scene in recent months, first performing a surprise show at The Independent in San Francisco, then with another surprise concert at the Metro in Chicago. The concerts served as a kind of warm-up for the band’s two appearances at Louder Than Life festival last month.
Metallica’s next gig is California’s Aftershock festival, which will see the band headlining two more nights this weekend, Friday October 8 and Sunday October 10. Check out the rest of their upcoming dates here.
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