Limp Bizkit Sued By Insurance Company Over Concert Death

Suit accuses Fred Durst of inciting a rush toward the stage, voiding coverage.

Limp Bizkit's insurance broker has filed a lawsuit against the band, alleging that legal fees the group incurred while fighting wrongful-death claims aren't covered by its policy.

According to Reuters, United National Insurance Co. filed a suit in Los Angeles against Limp Bizkit on Thursday, seeking a judicial declaration that the firm does not have to cover legal expenses the band racked up while defending itself against the claims filed by the parents of a 16-year-old concergoer who died at a show. Australian concertgoer Jessica Michalik suffered a heart attack in a mosh put during the Big Day Out festival in January of 2001 (see "Teen Who Had Heart Attack In Limp Bizkit Pit Dies").

In the lawsuit, the insurer accuses Fred Durst of encouraging the concert's audience to rush the stage, and claims that the festival was not covered by a liability binder issued for the band a year before. Michalik "was either crushed or trampled to death as the crowd, allegedly incited by Fred Durst's comments, surged toward the stage where Limp Bizkit was performing," the lawsuit reads.

Ed McPherson, the band's attorney, reiterated to Reuters that a coroner's examination and an Australian court found that Limp Bizkit was not to blame for the teen's death (see "Fred Durst Tells Aussie Court He Warned Fest Promoter"). Her parents filed two separate wrongful death claims: one naming the concert's promoters and security staff, and one against the band. Limp Bizkit, and all related parties, were cleared of any wrongdoing in 2002.

Limp Bizkit was left with "substantial legal fees," McPherson told Reuters; he would not reveal the exact figure. The attorney added that United National Insurance assured the band that the policy did apply to the Sydney event.

Harry Chamberlain, United National's attorney, wants the court to rule on whether the concert was "a scheduled event" and whether Durst's alleged actions rendered the band's insurance coverage void, according to Reuters. The suit seeks a court order removing the burden of underwriting the band from the insurer, which would require Limp Bizkit to pay all damages associated with the wrongful-death claims.