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Metallica Has Their COVID-Era Insurance Lawsuit Denied by a Taylor Swift-Quoting Justice

'To paraphrase Taylor Swift: "We were there. We remember it all too well,"' wrote Justice Marcia Stratton

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Taylor Swift's words are proving so powerful that they've been used against Metallica

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It’s a rare occasion when Taylor Swift and Metallica cross paths, but it happened in a California appeals court this week... sort of.

The moment in question wasn’t an in-person encounter between the two artists, but after filing an insurance lawsuit, Metallica was met with a denial by Justice Marcia Stratton, who found a way to incorporate a quote from Swift’s lyrics into the proceedings.

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Metallica performing at Download Festival, Donnington Park on June 10, 2023 in London, England

The lawsuit found Metallica demanding that its insurance company, Lloyd’s of London, pay for over $3 million in losses which came about as a result of a series of six concerts in South America that were canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The band’s argument was that if the case was sent to a jury, then it’s possible that the jury could’ve been convinced that the cancelations might’ve been for other reasons.

Unfortunately, the court’s decision came down in favor of Lloyd’s, owing to an exclusion within the contract that saved them from having to pay out in instances tied to “communicable diseases,” and it’s at this point that the aforementioned Justice Stratton channeled her inner Swiftie.

“To paraphrase Taylor Swift: ‘We were there. We remember it all too well,’” wrote Stratton. “There was no vaccine against Covid-19 in March 2020 and no drugs to treat it. Ventilators were in short supply. N-95 masks were all but non-existent. Patients were being treated in tents in hospital parking lots. The mortality rate of Covid-19 was unknown, but to give just one example of the potential fatality rate, by late March, 2020, New York City was using refrigerated trucks as temporary morgues. People were terrified.”

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The tour, which had originally been scheduled to begin on April 15, 2020, was postponed due to Argentina, Brazil, and Chile all imposing restrictions because of the pandemic. The company’s reply to the claim: “Unfortunately we have to advise that no coverage is afforded for this matter under this Policy.” In turn, Metallica filed their lawsuit against Lloyd’s in June 2021, having submitted a loss claim in May 2020 for $3,234,569, a total which included $184,996 in payroll.

Metallica’s case was rejected in December 2022, with a Los Angeles judge ruling that the cancellations were caused by travel restrictions that were “a direct response to the burgeoning COVID-19 pandemic.” That’s when Metallica filed their appeal, arguing that the shows were eventually performed in 2022 “despite the ongoing presence of COVID.”

Knowing this back story, you can perhaps understand why Justice Stratton's response had that "nice try" undertone to it.

“People were in a position to make a more accurate cost-benefit analysis of restrictions versus potential illness [by 2022],” Stratton continued. “The fact that governments chose to lift restrictions at that point, two years after COVID-19 was first discovered, does not in any way call into question their reasons for imposing travel restrictions early in the pandemic.”

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