What you need to know
- The production company behind The Morning Show is suing an insurance company.
- Always Smiling Productions says it is owed $44 million for COVID-19 delays to the production of season 2.
The production company behind Apple TV+ show The Morning Show says it is owed $44 million in insurance money because of COVID-19 delays to the production of the show.
When you have top-notch stars like Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell in a show, you want to insure their presence on set. The production vehicle behind The Morning Show has $125 million in cast coverage, plus more for imminent peril to their shooting location. But the Apple+ series is now finding it difficult to get any of that money over COVID-19-related delays to the production of the second season. According to a new suit filed in California federal court, Chubb National Insurance Company won't pay up.
According to the lawsuit, The Morning Show made it 13 days into filming in March 2020 before it had to stop because of the pandemic. Chubb has reportedly paid out $1 million for civil authority coverage but won't pay a penny more. Always Smiling Productions, the company behind the show, claims it has calculated its expenses at $44 million, according to the report. From the lawsuit:
Like most entities involved in the production of motion pictures and television shows, Always Smiling had purchased insurance that promised to protect it against losses from production delays and threats to the well-being of cast members. When Always Smiling turned to Chubb, its insurer, for its promised insurance, it reasonably expected Chubb to cover its losses. But instead of honoring its agreement with Always Smiling, Chubb adopted arbitrary restrictions on the coverage available to Always Smiling and interpreted its insurance policy in a manner to deprive Always Smiling of the financial protection it purchased. Always Smiling is informed and believes, and on that basis alleges, that Chubb adopted these restrictive interpretations as to Always Smiling and many of its other insureds even though its interpretations were contrary to industry custom and practice, the terms of the insurance policies, and the law. Always Smiling is also informed and believes, and on that basis alleges, that Chubb adopted these interpretations to save itself hundreds of millions of dollars that it otherwise would owe Always Smiling and its other insureds for their covered losses.
The plaintiff also alleges that Chubb had prior knowledge about the potential impact of pandemics and should have known that it would one day have to pay "perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars" because of such an event. Figures cited by THR from Penn Law's COVID Coverage Litigation Tracker indicate that some 2,000 similar lawsuits have been filed against insurers since March 2020, and that of the 371 heard in court for dismissal motions, 93% have been dismissed, indicating the odds aren't great for ASP.
The Morning Show season 2 debuts on September 17, and can be watched on the Best TVs for Apple TV 2021.
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