Rolling Stone’s Australian tour cancellation claim in dispute

December 2014

Insurance, live events


L’Wren Scott’s tragic and unexpected suicide prompted the Rolling Stones to cancel a number of Australian dates and resulted in a claim against the bands $23.9 million insurance policy. As Mick Jagger’s partner, Scott was named in the policy which would have covered cancellation in the event of the death of close family members of the band and indeed possibly senior tour personnel and the tour cancellation occurred after Jagger was “diagnosed as suffering from acute traumatic stress disorder” and advised by doctors not to perform for at least 30 days. However, reports in early November said that underwriters apparently argued that Scott might have been suffering from a pre-existing but undeclared mental illness at the time the insurance policy was agreed, which would, they argued, render cover in relation to her death invalid. It emerged that the insurers then refused to pay out $12.7 million on the claim – resulting in a further legal claim in the London courts by the band.  However the matter came to wider attention because of legal efforts in the US by the insurers to gain papers relating to Scott’s mental health prior to her death. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, a court in Scott’s home state of Utah gave underwriters permission to gather testimony and documents from her brother Randall Bambrough and that similar court filings have been made by the insurers in the federal courts in new York to gain access to documents held by Scott’s former PA, the executor of her estate and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

It also appears that the underwriters were also arguing that it appeared that Jagger had not actually been personally examined by the doctor who provided the medical note and further that doctor and was not a psychiatrist. In addition, the underwriters pointed to provisions in the policy that Scott’s death by suicide by her own hand was “not beyond her control”, invalidating the claim.

The Times (15.11.14) reported that the Stone’s multi million pound claim had been settled but the band said that they were “deeply upset” that confidential details were made public.

The Stones recently cancelled a November 8th Australian concert after lead singer Mick Jagger was diagnosed with a throat infection, promoters said. Tour promoter Frontier issued a statement on their website saying the 71-year-old Jagger was under a doctor’s strict order to rest his vocal chords for the next few days to recuperate for the remainder of the tour with the band saying they were ‘disappointed’.

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