By Bill Donahue, Billboard | In an unusual ruling that quoted from Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well,” a California appeals court has rejected Metallica’s lawsuit demanding that its insurance company pay for more than $3 million in losses stemming from concerts that were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision, issued Monday (March 18) by California’s Court of Appeal, said that six COVID-cancelled 2020 shows in South America were not covered by Metallica’s insurance policy with Lloyd’s of London, thanks to a clear exclusion in the contract for any losses stemming from “communicable diseases.”

The legendary rock band had argued the case should have gone to trial, since a jury could have decided that non-COVID reasons led to the cancellations. But Justice Maria Stratton, improbably citing Swift, said it was “absurd to think that government closures were not the result of Covid-19.”

“To paraphrase Taylor Swift: ‘We were there. We remember it all too well,’” the justice wrote. “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.”

Metallica’s case is one of many that have been filed by musicians, venues, bars and other businesses seeking insurance coverage for harm caused by the outbreak of COVID-19, which led to months of severe travel restrictions, forced closures and bans on large gatherings.
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