Anger Downunder Over Bizkit Insurer

United National Insurance asked a Los Angeles court August 12th to absolve it from paying legal costs incurred by Limp Bizkit after a 16-year-old girl was crushed during the band’s Big Day Out set, prompting an outcry from the girl’s father.

“The insurer wants to wipe their hands of what? I consider it peanuts what I received,” George Michalik told Sydney, Australia’s Daily Telegraph.

“There is no way they should be running away from their responsibility, especially since the band was cleared of any wrongdoing at Jessica’s inquest.”

Jessica Michalik was crushed in the mosh pit during the 2001 show at the Sydney Showground.

George Michalik sued Big Day Out promoter Creative Entertainment Australia, stage and barrier builders Australasian Event Services, and security company Australian Event Protection for nervous shock and loss of income. He received more than $100,000.

His estranged wife, Barbara, tried to sue Limp Bizkit’s company, Limp Bizness. But both a coroner’s inquest and the New South Wales Supreme Court declared Bizkit not culpable for Michalik’s death.

UNI’s court documents claimed that the fan “was either crushed or trampled to death as the crowd, allegedly incited by Fred Durst’s comments, surged towards the stage where Limp Bizkit was performing.”

The company also claimed the concert was not covered by a liability binder it issued the band in 2000.

UNI wants the court to determine whether the Big Day Out show had been “a scheduled event” and whether Durst’s alleged behaviour onstage nullified the band’s insurance coverage.

Limp Bizkit’s lawyer Ed McPherson said that the band has been assured by its insurance broker that it was covered for the show.

McPherson said of UNI, “They’ve been completely unresponsive and now have decided to resolve it by suing their own insured. I guess that’s what happens when you buy insurance coverage.”

Bryan Jones