There’s nothing that starts off a summer vacation weekend like a good blockbuster battle and that’s what the courtroom showdown between The Walt Disney Company and Fireman’s Fund Insurance has all the potential to do. ‘to be.
Of course, the price of the roughly $ 10 million lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court today isn’t all that epic, however, the ramifications for a Hollywood still unstable after production shutdowns and lockdowns in Los Angeles. coronavirus could be immense. We’ve seen UTA and others arguing with their insurers in the event of a pandemic before, and if you think other lawsuits like this aren’t being prepared by other insurance companies right now, I have a few questions for you about Lee Harvey Oswald and did he act alone on that terrible day in Dallas?
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Coming back to this particular case, Disney last year filed claims with the Burbank-based insurer for the costs of the “Second Wave” and “Holiday Hiatus” coverage. Based on their reading of the October 2019 policy with Disney, frankly speaking, Fireman believes they did not pay for these periods. So, with the parties unable to agree on Disney’s apparent generosity and concern for its crews, the insurance company sued the House of Mouse on Thursday for a declaratory judgment from the courts.
“After several months the stop orders were gradually changed, allowing production to resume,” the 8-page complaint filed by lawyers for GladstoneWeisberg of Culver City, ALC says of the “second wave claims” on which she is arguing (read here). “However, various jurisdictions have imposed requirements, including, for example, frequent testing and quarantine of cast and crew in the event of exposure. The restrictions have resulted in more closures, more spending and more claims. “
No one will disagree with this and the parties are expected to be close to a deal on “first wave claims”. But Fireman’s, and obviously Disney, disagree on how the rest of the costs are taken care of and what clause in the policy relates to the issue at hand.
“Fireman’s Fund supports and TWDC disputes that to the extent that TWDC incurred additional expenses due to the need for the Covered Actors / Crews, who were in good health, to be quarantined due to exposure to people who test positive and / or infected, there is no coverage under Cast coverage, ”say firefighters. “TWDC further asserts that coverage is available for Second Wave claims under Civil Authority Police coverage,” the company filing continues.
“Fireman’s Fund disputes this and argues that civil authority coverage is not triggered by orders from civil authorities requiring, for example, testing and / or quarantine, but only by orders revoking the authorization. to use or prohibit access to facilities used for guaranteed production.
The battle then takes place in a location similar to MC Escher.
“Fireman’s Fund maintains that the imminent peril coverage is not applicable because the peril, meaning the pandemic, is no longer imminent,” the company says. “On the contrary, it happened in 2020. In the alternative, the Fireman’s Fund argues that while the peril is not the pandemic itself but rather the imminent risk of infection that the cover for imminent peril was not not intended to apply when a producer, i.e. TWDC, intentionally puts the cast and crew at risk by continuing production in the face of a peril which must, by definition, be imminent and of such likelihood and severity that it would be unreasonable or unreasonable to ignore it.
Um, the fire department was there last year, right?
If that wasn’t cold enough, there’s an Ebenezer Scrooge element here as well.
“It is customary in the industry for film and television productions to take a two-week hiatus starting a few days before Christmas and continuing until after New Year’s Day, so that the cast and crew can enjoy the vacation “, notes the file. “According to TWDC, public health authorities in Los Angeles, Atlanta and London have expressed ‘high concern’ during the 2020-2021 holidays about then rising Covid-19 levels, and urged, but no did not order TWDC to extend the vacation break for an additional 1 to 2 weeks.
You get where all of this is going and how it happened here. Fireman, Disney’s “disputes” seeking coverage for their “vacation leave claims”, basically they are making the “second wave claims.” Still, there is one element specific to the Christmas crisis part that is worth mentioning. “TWDC… maintains that the coverage is available as part of the policy producer indemnity coverage…”, states the complaint. “Fireman’s Fund maintains that producer compensation coverage only covers losses beyond TWDC’s control and that the decision to extend the vacation interruption was entirely within TWDC’s control. “
It was during the last few weeks of last year and the first weeks of this year the pandemic was raging and people were dying left, right and center.
With all of that, Disney, by the way, made no comment on the costume when contacted by Deadline. No comment today, but their possible response in the file to the complaint will not be based on the best evidence of Fancy for sure – more like Avengers: Endgame, I think.