Britney Sues Insurance Companies

Britney Spears is suing eight insurance companies that rejected a $9.8 million claim she filed after injuring her knee during a video shoot last summer. Spears later had to cancel her 2004 summer tour.

The lawsuit filed in state Supreme Court in Manhattan says Spears and her company, Britney Touring Inc., paid the firms more than $1.3 million in premiums to insure her 2004 Onyx Hotel Tour through the United States, Canada and Europe.

On June 8th, “while the policies were in full force and effect,” court papers say, Spears hurt her left knee in New York during choreography for a video of her song “Outrageous.” She had surgery days later to repair the knee.

Court papers say that after Spears canceled the tour, seven of the insurance companies, all in Britain, refused to pay. The other company, a French firm, did not respond at all, court papers say.

The seven British companies said that during a pre-tour medical exam on February 5, 2004, Spears failed to tell them about a pre-existing left knee injury and surgery she had less than five years earlier.

Spears underwent “minor orthopedic surgery” on her left knee in March 1999, four years and 11 months earlier, which was “an innocent omission that was not material to defendants’ decision to provide coverage or to the scope of the coverage provided,” according to the lawsuit, which was filed Friday.

Court papers also say the new injury was on the other side of the knee.

The singer began her tour, following release of her In the Zone album, on March 2nd in San Diego. On March 18th, she hurt her left knee in Moline, Ill., and was forced to cancel shows later that month in Chicago and Detroit.

While in Queens on June 8th filming the “Outrageous” video, Spears injured the left knee. She underwent surgery on June 11th and canceled the rest of the tour on June 15th. She then filed the claim with the insurance companies.

There were no New York telephone listings for any of the eight insurance companies.

Spears’ lawyer in New York, Jonathan Stoler, said Monday that lawsuits against insurance companies with offices in foreign countries are filed with the state insurance commission. He said he did not know who the companies’ lawyers were in New York.

Spears’ latest album, In the Zone, was released in November and has sold more than 2.6 million copies.

Associated Press