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Spears sues insurance companies over tour

Singer Britney Spears is suing eight international insurance companies to recover almost $10 million in damages for their refusal to pay her for losses she sustained when her European concert tour was canceled because of a knee injury.
/ Source: Reuters

Singer Britney Spears is suing eight international insurance companies to recover almost $10 million in damages for their refusal to pay her for losses she sustained when her European concert tour was canceled because of a knee injury.

The 14-page lawsuit filed late last week in Manhattan State Supreme Court but made public Monday said the eight companies refused to compensate the singer for losses arising from the canceled shows, despite repeated demands to do so.

In the lawsuit, Spears claims she suffered an injury to her left knee on June 8, 2004, which had to be surgically repaired.

Named in the lawsuit are Liberty Syndicate Management Ltd, Beazley Furlonge Ltd. which is part of Beazley Group Plc., Great Lakes Reinsurance UK Plc, QBE International Insurance Ltd which is part of QBE Insurance Group Ltd, Markel Corp’s Markel International Ltd, Talbot Underwriting Ltd and SR International Business. They all have operations in London. Also named is French company AXA’s AXA Corporate Solutions.

To get the policy, Spears paid more than $1.3 million in insurance premiums, her lawyer, John Callagy, told Reuters.

“This is a straightforward case. We asked them to do the right thing, and they won’t do it,” Callagy said.

The lawsuit said that in 2004 Spears was preparing a North America and European tour and bought “contingency insurance” which is customary in the industry to cover abandonment, postponement or cancellation of performances.

The three primary insurers were Liberty, AXA and QBE, according to the lawsuit, with the other named insurers picking up “different layers of insurance coverage.”

The policies were issued through Lloyds of London, who was not named in the suit.

As part of the insurance process, Spears underwent a medical examination on Feb. 5, 2004, by a doctor who found her in sound health and “in a fit condition” for the tour.

However, at the time of her examination, she failed to note on a questionnaire that almost five years earlier, she had undergone minor orthopedic surgery on her left knee and had fully recovered from that surgery.

But in March 2004, Spears injured her left knee during a performance and was forced to cancel two shows.

The defendants then had Spears examined by another doctor who said the new injury was on the opposite side of the knee that was previously injured in 1999. She continued performing until June when it was determined she “had a floating cartilage” that required surgical repair and the tour was canceled.