The band, formerly known as the Dixie Chicks, released their first studio album in 14 years last July. They also planned a 48-show North American tour, which was to kick off at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The tour was canceled, along with every other concert tour, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chicks’ touring company, Tunashoe Tours, had an insurance policy through Lloyd’s of London that provided up to $40.4 million in coverage in the event that the tour had to be canceled.
According to the complaint, 14 underwriters subscribed to the policy, but the suit only targets one of them: W/R/B Underwriting. The suit alleges that W/R/B has refused to acknowledge its obligation to pay, and has repeatedly asked whether the 2020 tour could be postponed to 2021.
The complaint argues that would be impossible. For one thing, the album has already been released.
“As of the filing of this complaint, it appears highly unlikely that the spread of SARS-CoV-2 will sufficiently subside and herd immunity will be established to allow concerts and other live events to resume in 2021,” the complaint adds. “Estimates of when this will occur are further complicated by variants of the virus that are already spreading in the United States.”
The suit states that W/R/B had urged The Chicks to drop Live Nation and find another promoter, or perform live-streamed concerts instead of live shows. The suit alleges that W/R/B’s suggestions were impractical, would have constituted a breach of Live Nation’s agreement, and were designed merely to mitigate W/R/B’s losses on the policy.
Of the 14 underwriters, the suit states that only W/R/B has taken this position. The suit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.