“The Life of Pablo” rapper Kanye West’s touring company has been slapped with a countersuit by a group of insurance underwriters, who claim in part that West has “substantial irregularities” in his medical history.
Very Good Touring filed a $10 million lawsuit against insurance company Lloyd’s of London and affiliated firms earlier this year, alleging that the insurers were holding out on a claim over concerts canceled last year due to the rapper’s breakdown. And now the insurance underwriters are firing back with a counterclaim, asserting that the touring company hasn’t provided adequate information to assess the claim.
“Underwriters have sought to obtain documents and other information necessary to determine VGT’s entitlement to coverage under the policy,” the new court papers, filed Tuesday, read. “The parties now have an actual and present controversy regarding whether any coverage is afforded under the Policies as more fully set forth below. Underwriters’ investigation indicates substantial irregularities in Mr. West’s medical history.”
The counterclaim declines to elaborate on the alleged irregularities, citing privacy concerns.
In its lawsuit, Very Good Touring said that over eight months after filing the claim, Lloyd’s still hasn’t acted on it, and has suggested that it might deny the claim “on the unsupportable contention that use of marijuana by Kanye caused the medical condition.”
“Performing artists who pay handsomely to insurance companies within the Lloyd’s of London marketplace to obtain show tour ‘non-appearance or cancellation’ insurance, should take note of the lesson to be learned from this lawsuit: Lloyd’s companies enjoy collecting bounteous premiums; they don’t enjoy paying claims, no matter how legitimate,” the lawsuit reads. “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.”
Very Good Touring says that the remainder of the Saint Pablo Tour was canceled after West’s Nov. 19 concert in Sacramento was cut short because “his behavior was strained, confused and erratic.”
“As a result of this serious, debilitating medical condition, Kanye was hospitalized at UCLA Neuropsychiatric Hospital Center” on Nov. 21, the lawsuit reads.
According to the suit, after “numerous negotiations, failed mediations and countless requests that Plaintiff forbear from filing suit,” the defendants again requested that Very Good not file on July 24, promising a coverage decision on July 27.
“That promise proved as hollow as their other utterances, and the insurers reneged on yet another commitment,” the lawsuit reads.
But in Tuesday’s papers, insurance underwriters associated with Lloyd’s of London asserted that Very Good Touring “has failed to cooperate as required by the terms and conditions of the policies and/or California law, including but not limited to, the failure and refusal to provide information, documents and writings.”
“Throughout Underwriters’ investigation, VGT and its legal, medical and other agents and representatives have delayed, hindered, stalled and or refused to provide information both relevant and necessary for Underwriters to complete their investigation of the claim,” Tuesday’s filing reads. “Underwriters are informed and believe, and thereon these same persons have willfully concealed and or misrepresented relevant facts in an effort to thwart Underwriters’ investigation.”
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.