Artist sues insurers for $10 million over canceled tour

Very Good Touring, the company handling West’s “Saint Pablo” tour, said in the suit that the insurance companies had delayed making a decision.

Kanye West.

Very Good Touring, the company handling West’s “Saint Pablo” tour, said in the suit that the insurance companies had delayed making a decision in attempts to deny the claim, which was filed in November while the musician was being treated for a “debilitating medical condition” at a Los Angeles hospital.

The touring company said the insurers, which are syndicates of the insurance market Lloyd’s of London, suggested without evidence that West’s marijuana use might have contributed to his medical condition and could invalidate his claims.

“The stalling is emblematic of a broader modus operandi of the insurers of never-ending postclaim underwriting, where the insurers hunt for some contrived excuse not to pay,” lawyers representing Very Good Touring and West wrote in court documents filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

A spokeswoman for Lloyd’s of London declined to comment, saying the company does not discuss litigation.

The touring company said it had sought a ruling from the insurance companies numerous times since November and informed them last month that it might file a lawsuit to get the $9.8 million, plus interest. The insurance companies then promised to decide on the multimillion-dollar claims by this past Thursday, the suit said.

But instead of ruling on the matter, the insurers leaked damaging “privileged, private and personal information” about West to news outlets, the suit said. It did not identify the stories.

The policy for West’s tour said the insurance would cover “costs and expenses and commitments” if shows had to be canceled. In the suit, Very Good Touring said the insurance companies showed signs soon after the claim was filed that they wanted to deny the payments.

West kicked off the “Saint Pablo” tour last August and scheduled 38 shows through the beginning of November. With the tour’s success, West added a second leg of 24 shows, ending with a New Year’s Eve performance in Brooklyn, New York. All of the shows were insured by Lloyd’s of London syndicates, according to the suit.

But early into the second leg, West displayed erratic behavior onstage that left concertgoers bewildered and enraged. At a show on Nov. 17 in San Jose, California, he voiced support for then President-elect Donald Trump and commended his communication methods as “very futuristic.”

Two nights later, West ranted for 17 minutes during a Sacramento show, airing his personal and professional grievances with Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Hillary Clinton, Mark Zuckerberg and others. When he finished, he dropped the mike and left the stage after having performed only three songs.

The next night, his show in Los Angeles was canceled at the last minute. That decision was made after West’s “medical condition showed no sign of improvement,” the lawsuit said, and the remaining “Saint Pablo” shows were canceled. The lawsuit does not identify his medical condition.

The next day, he was hospitalized at the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he stayed for eight days. While West was in the hospital, Very Good Touring said it filed the insurance claims for the canceled tour dates.

The insurers demanded that West, while he was still under medical care, undergo an independent medical examination, according to the suit. The companies also sought to negotiate the claim amount and suggested that West’s medical condition was caused by smoking marijuana.

West is still being treated by the doctor who oversaw his hospitalization in November, the suit said.

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