Roc Nation, a joint venture of Jay-Z and Live Nation Entertainment, partnered with Feldstein’s Career Artist Management in 2016. At the time, Roc Nation says it took out a “key man” life insurance policy with HCC International Insurance to protect its investment in Feldstein. The policy carried a liability limit of $12.5 million, which would recoup the company for lost revenue due to Feldstein’s death.
Feldstein, 40, died on Dec. 22, 2017, due to a blood clot in his leg, according to the L.A. County Coroner’s Office.
Roc Nation says it filed a claim under the policy, but that HCCI then dragged its feet for months, asking for extensive information to evaluate the claim. Ultimately, the insurer issued a determination that it would pay only $1.2 million, the suit alleges.
The suit argues that the insurer low-balled Roc Nation’s lost revenue, asserting that the forgone income from Maroon 5 alone would exceed the liability cap.
“Plaintiff invested in CAM with the idea of recouping its investment and making a profit for years to come based on Mr. Feldstein’s skills and attributes,” the suit alleges. “With Mr. Feldstein alive, Plaintiff could and most likely would have made many tens of millions of dollars in profits over the life of the partnership.”
The suit accuses HCCI of engaging in creative interpretation of ambiguous contract language, such that future revenues that could be attributed to CAM are deducted from its net loss.
“HCCI’s interpretation of the limitation clause in the definition of ‘Direct Ascertained Net Loss’ invokes an outrageously unrealistic view of what can be accomplished by a dead person because HCCI is claiming that all CAM revenue forever is ‘generated as a result of’ Mr. Feldstein and that simply is not reality in the artist management business,” the suit alleges. “Talent needs constant attention and HCCI’s position in this case diminishes the value of many hardworking people who work to keep an artist’s career moving forward on a daily basis.”
Roc Nation alleges breach of contract and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and is seeking the balance of the $12.5 million policy limit.
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