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AEG ends legal dispute with Lloyds over This Is It policy

By | Published on Tuesday 11 September 2012

AEG Live

Live music major AEG Live has dropped its $17.5 million insurance claim against Lloyds Of London with regard to Michael Jackson’s fated ‘This Is It’ residency in 2009.

After Jackson’s untimely death that year, AEG tried to claim compensation from Lloyds, which had insured part of the planned 50 night O2 extravaganza. But the insurers claimed that the live firm had misrepresented the state of Jackson’s health when taking out its insurance policy, and sued through the US courts in a bid to have the policy declared void.

According to CNN, AEG confirmed yesterday that it had now agreed with Lloyds to withdraw its insurance claim, and as a result the insurer will have the promoter removed from its lawsuit. Michael Jackson LLC, which is now controlled by the Michael Jackson estate, was also named on that lawsuit, as it too was making a claim against the same insurance policy, and for the time being that part of the litigation will continue.

The deal between AEG Live and Lloyds comes a week after embarrassing emails between executives at the live company, and individuals involved in the ‘This Is It’ venture, were published in the LA Times, showing that there were widespread concerns about Jackson’s physical and mental wellbeing as the show went into rehearsal, and before, which ran contrary to AEG’s official line at the time.

When said emails first emerged, it was thought they had originated in evidence amassed as part of the Lloyds v AEG case. Though we now know they were provided to the LA Times by Howard Mann, an associate of the Jackson family, leading to allegations that the Jacksons themselves were involved in the leak, and that the emails came from evidence due to be used in a different legal dispute between Michael’s mother Katherine Jackson and AEG. The Jacksons deny those claims.

Either way, at a first glance, the emails did seem to suggest that AEG execs had hidden big concerns about Jackson’s health from public view, which might back up Lloyds’ claims that it too had been misled (though obviously, without seeing the actual terms and correspondence between AEG and Lloyds, that’s hard to know).

Either way, AEG’s legal rep insists that talks to end the company’s dispute with Lloyds had been ongoing for months prior to the LA Times report, and that the leaked emails had nothing to do with the subsequent agreement between the two companies.

Meanwhile Paul Schrieffer, a lawyer working for the insurer, confirmed an agreement had been reached, telling reporters: “In exchange for AEG withdrawing its insurance claim, underwriters agreed to dismiss AEG from the [lawsuit] and to waive any costs recoverable from AEG. The insurance case continues against the Michael Jackson Company LLC for, among other things, rescission of the policy due to nondisclosures of Michael Jackson’s prior drug use”.