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Ticketmaster sues insurance carrier in dispute over legal expenses

December 8, 2010 |  7:56 am

Entertainment giant Ticketmaster is suing an insurance company for refusing to pay for its defense in a class-action lawsuit over alleged fee overcharges.

The complaint, filed Friday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, alleges that Illinois Union Insurance Co. breached its contract by refusing to pay Ticketmaster’s legal expenses in the case. The legal expenses total more than $4 million.

Curt Schlesinger, Peter Lore and Scott Silver sued Ticketmaster in October 2003. In an amended complaint filed last year, the plaintiffs charged that Ticketmaster illegally hiked its delivery and processing fees. The complaint alleges that Ticketmaster falsely represented the fees as being pass-through charges or cost recovery when they were in fact intended to make a profit.

The ticket company asserts that its $10-million policy with the Chicago insurance company should have covered the defense in the case.

According to Ticketmaster, Illinois Union denied coverage, saying it was precluded from covering the costs because, among other factors, the lawsuit was based on profit to which Ticketmaster was not legally entitled.

In the complaint filed Friday, Ticketmaster called the grounds for denial false and the insurance company’s conduct “despicable.”

-- Abby Sewell