I find it personally odd that no one in here takes up this topic. It seems to have a deep enough implication to effect the next time Kanye wants to go on tour.
If West decides to keep fighting this, his medical records will likely end up in court, says Paul Langer, an attorney who represented Lady Gaga in a 2013 cancellation-policy lawsuit against Lloyd’s. “The real question is, what really happened here?” says Langer. “What will usually happen is those documents will be exchanged between the parties and one way or another, both sides are going to know what the medical records indeed show, what condition West was admitted for, what he was treated for.” To protect West’s privacy, a judge would probably shield his medical records from outside view.
The best-known case of a cancellation-policy lawsuit where, as with this one, drug use allegedly played a role was the posthumous Michael Jackson case. Though just one part of the courtroom circus that also involved wrongful-death claims, a 2011 lawsuit by Lloyd’s against Jackson’s This Is It tour promoter AEG ended a year later with AEG dropping its insurance claim. Jackson’s estate finally settled its dispute over a $17.5 million Lloyd’s policy in 2014, five years after the King of the Pop’s passing.
Understandably, West might not want to wait that long. Very Good’s lawsuit is blistering in its portrayal of the insurers at Lloyd’s, a centuries-old institution that operates as a market for member “syndicates” rather than an insurance company in its own right. “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 complaint stated. “The artists think they they’re buying peace of mind. The insurers know they’re just selling a ticket to the courthouse.” In the recondite realm of contractual litigation, this constitutes an ethering.
Jill Penwarden, an attorney who recently represented Foo Fighters in their own legal action involving Lloyd’s, suggests Kanye’s lawyers might have a point here. Foo Fighters sued Lloyd’s underwriters over two unpaid claims, one involving canceled shows after Dave Grohl fell off the stage and broke his ankle, and another after the Paris terror attacks of November 2015 forced the band to cancel their remaining tour dates. The case was settled a year ago, but similar to West’s allegations, Penwarden says the insurers weren’t accepting or denying coverage. “They just continued to ask for more and more information until we lost patience,” she recalls.
Whether such delays are typical is harder to assess. Paul Bassman, who has insured everyone from Bowery Presents to, full disclosure, Pitchfork Music Festival, says Lloyd’s insurers pay claims all the time. “They’re extremely fair,” Bassman observes. “If Kanye’s camp can prove that indeed it was a valid cancellation, they’ll get paid. It’s up to them to prove it.” A Lloyd’s spokesperson declined to comment directly on the West case but said the market paid out over $16 billion in claims last year, adding, “The market will always try to find some form of agreement or accommodation where it can.”