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Foo Fighters sue insurers over cancelled shows

By | Published on Wednesday 15 June 2016

Foo Fighters

The Foo Fighters are at war with their insurers over the pay out on two sets of cancelled shows, the first following frontman Dave Grohl breaking his leg mid-gig a year ago, and the second in the wake of the attacks on Paris venue Bataclan last November.

The band are suing the London insurance market Lloyds, various insurance firms and their broker Robertson Taylor, arguing that the defendants haven’t made good on their insurance policies, instead colluding to reduce the insurers’ liabilities.

The first claim relates to three UK shows that were cancelled as a result of Grohl’s injuries. The dispute centres on whether subsequent shows play by Foo Fighters at those venues mean the originally scheduled dates at Wembley Stadium and Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium were in fact ‘postponed’, rather than ‘cancelled’. This has a big impact on pay out.

“Robertson Taylor failed to adequately advise the band of the potential impact these additional shows could have on their claim for coverage”, says the band’s litigation, according to Billboard. “Specifically, Robertson Taylor failed to adequately inform the band that, if it decided to add these shows to the tour, the London market insurers would attempt to recharacterise the cancelled Wembley Stadium and BT Murrayfield Stadium performances [as being] ‘rescheduled'”.

The band’s filing also points out that Grohl’s decision to quickly get back on the road despite the broken leg – performing from a specially made throne – saved insurers tens of millions. It also alleges that Robertson Taylor pumped the Foos for information on the subsequent UK shows, supposedly to enable “prompt payment” of what was owing on the cancelled concerts, but – the band reckons – the information requested was really needed to help the insurers reclassify the three axed gigs as postponements.

As for the November shows, cancelled following the attack in Paris at an Eagles Of Death Metal concert where 89 people were killed, there is a dispute over whether terrorism provisions in the Foos’ insurance policy should apply. Many artists postponed European shows in the wake of the attacks, with Foo Fighters missing four dates. It seems insurers have not disputed coverage on two of those shows, due to take place in French cities, but have “engaged in a seemingly never-ending series of requests for increasingly irrelevant information” relating to the concerts cancelled in Turin and Barcelona.

Neither Robertson Taylor nor the actual insurers have as yet commented on the lawsuit.