November 10, 2014

The Rolling Stones try to collect $12.7 million from insurance companies after the death of L'Wren Scott.

The companies insured against the cancellation of concerts that occurred because the unforeseen and sudden death of various persons, including Mick Jagger's girlfriend L'Wren Scott.

But L'Wren Scott committed suicide. It's hard to believe that insurance companies put that much money at risk and include suicide or even that a purchaser of insurance would want loved ones to have a monetary incentive to commit suicide.

So now there's litigation — in federal court in Utah, of all places — with discovery into the question whether the suicide was "sudden and unforeseen" and whether Mick Jagger was really so broken up that he could not perform.

19 comments:

sparrow said...

It's hard to be sympathetic to the Stones here. Cashing in on the suicide of an ex-girlfriend? Sick

alan markus said...

Cashing in on the suicide of an ex-girlfriend? Sick

I'm not sure they are "cashing in" as much as recovering actual damages related to the cancellation. Original policy was $24M, seeking a little bit more than 1/2 of that.

By postponing the Australian leg of their 2014 On Fire Tour following the death of Mick Jagger's longtime girlfriend L'Wren Scott, the Rolling Stones stand to lose around $13 million.
This includes deposits on venues, storage of gear, transport and lost revenue.
While some production work would have been done on the ground, the band had 60 trucks on hold to transport its equipment, and just chartering the gear could have cost as much as $250,000, according to sources.
Before the tour, which included previous stops in Asia, the group had taken out a $23.9million policy to be paid in the event that shows were canceled for causes that included the death of family members or others named in the policy.
After Scott’s death, the Rolling Stones filed a claim of $12.7million for losses due to the cancellation or postponement of concerts.


Laslo Spatula said...

Regarding the cancelled concerts: So the suicide threw a L'Wrench in the works?

mccullough said...

Insurance companies are jagoffs. Pay up.

Eeyore Rifkin said...

Unforeseen by whom? Obviously Scott's demise was premeditated, but not by Jagger. And nothing Scott's brother might have foreseen will be good evidence of what Jagger foresaw. Since the policy covers the mental health of the Stones rather than their loved ones, and since Scott was named as a loved one, the investigation into the what other family members knew about Scott's mental health is grotesque and malicious.

David said...

Greedy rock icons have feelings too.

Ann Althouse said...

Somebody threw L'Spatula into the comments.

Ann Althouse said...

You know, it obviously was a sudden and unforeseen death. If the insurers wanted to exclude suicides by the named loved ones, they should have done so. Obviously, various characters in the Stones circle are at risk of dying in various unfortunate ways that can happen suddenly -- accidents, drugs, violence, etc. These are things that disrupt touring, and I'm sure the Stones paid a lot for this insurance. It's nasty to probe into the decline of the poor woman. It's not like she was dying of cancer or something that language like "sudden and unforeseen" seems to entail.

SeanF said...

Ann Althouse: You know, it obviously was a sudden and unforeseen death...It's not like she was dying of...something that language like "sudden and unforeseen" seems to entail.

Come again?

As a related story, "Weird Al" Yankovic's parents died of carbon monoxide poisoning (forgot to open the flue on the fireplace) while he was touring, and he didn't cancel any shows (he found out about in the afternoon, and performed a show that very night. I saw him perform four days later).

Sigivald said...

It's hard to believe that insurance companies put that much money at risk and include suicide or even that a purchaser of insurance would want loved ones to have a monetary incentive to commit suicide.

Note that since the insurance is for recovery of losses due to the death, there's no incentive at all.

They are, assuming they win the case, getting back only what they're projected to have lost by not performing.

I can't see any incentive to suicide in that.

Ann Althouse said...

"Come again?"

What's hard to understand. If someone on the list were known to be dying of cancer, the language would exclude coverage in that situation. Suicide is "sudden and unforeseen" compared to that (though it's easy to see how a lawyerly argument could deny that, I don't think it should work against insurance companies).

"As a related story, "Weird Al" Yankovic's parents died of carbon monoxide poisoning (forgot to open the flue on the fireplace) while he was touring, and he didn't cancel any shows (he found out about in the afternoon, and performed a show that very night. I saw him perform four days later)."

Did Weird Al have insurance? Did Weird Al need the money?

Just because one person soldiers on doesn't mean the occurrence defined in the policy didn't happen.

John Lynch said...

I think it's more a tribute to Weird Al's professionalism and his duty to his fans than anything else.

I doubt his father would have found fault with what he did.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Let's say the policy covers her death, as it seems it should.

You would purchase life insurance like this so you don't lose money if you have to cancel tour dates for unforeseen reasons outside your own control. A suicide of a child, for example, would hardly seems grounds for the insurance company not to pay.

But does it also cover Mick Jagger's "acute traumatic stress disorder" which kept him off tour for a whole 30 days?

Another interesting coverage question is that she is listed in the policy as "Girlfriend". Does it matter if she had in fact become an ex-girlfriend? An ex-wife is also listed on the policy, which suggests the currency of the relationship is not material. Once a girlfriend, always a girlfriend.

Bryan C said...

"It's hard to be sympathetic to the Stones here. Cashing in on the suicide of an ex-girlfriend? Sick"

How is it "sick" to collect insurance money when something bad happens to you? That's what insurance is for.

John Lynch said...

I don't think Jagger was being lazy by taking 30 days off.

What kind of media story would it have been to keep touring after his girlfriend, ex or otherwise, killed herself? That would have taken up a news cycle.

So he took the month off and let the story die. That was the smart business move. How much money would he have lost if he'd become the story?

William said...

Brittney Spears' premiums must be very high.

SeanF said...

Ann Althouse: What's hard to understand.

The contradiction. You said that suicide was obviously "sudden and unforeseen," and then you said it's not like she was dying of something that would normally be considered "sudden and unforeseen."

Also hard to understand - putting a period at the end of a question.

And I just threw out the "Weird Al" story as another example of an artist suffering a personal tragedy while on tour. Didn't mean to suggest I thought Al was "right" and Mick was "wrong" or anything like that.

Ann Althouse said...

"The contradiction. You said that suicide was obviously "sudden and unforeseen," and then you said it's not like she was dying of something that would normally be considered "sudden and unforeseen.""

No, I didn't.

SeanF said...

You said, "It's not like she was dying of cancer or something that language like 'sudden and unforeseen' seems to entail."

Did you perhaps mean "...something that language like 'sudden and unforeseen' seems to exclude"?