Yellowcard lawsuit on hold pending Juice WRLD estate executor selection
The lawsuit between Juice WRLD estate and Yellowcard has reportedly been put on hold. This is due to no one being appointed as the executor or the late-rapper's estate and the case cannot continue until then.
To catch you up to speed, in the original complaint filed, Yellowcard alleges Juice WRLD and his collaborators ripped “melodic elements” from their track without permission. They filed the complaint in Oct. 2019.
The original response date of the defendants was Dec. 9, 2019. But, following the tragic death of Juice WRLD on Dec. 8, Yellowcard put the lawsuit on pause. Shortly thereafter, Yellowcard filed a legal notice extending some of the defendants’ deadline to Feb. 4.
Then, on Jan. 13, another defendant in the Juice WRLD case filed for an extension to Feb. 4 as well. BMG Rights Management requested on Jan. 13 that they have until Feb. 4 to respond to the initial complaint filed by Yellowcard.
Defendants Grade A Productions, LLC, Songs of Universal, Inc., and Interscope Records originally requested the extension and received the Feb. 4 date.
Now, according to reports the entire case has been put on hold until Juice WRLD's estate finds its executor.
In a court order signed Feb. 11 by U.S. District Court Judge Consuelo B. Marshall, the matter of who shall represent Juice WRLD'S estate will be settled in a probate court.
"The action is stayed pending the appointment of a representative for the estate of Defendant [Jarad A.] Higgins by the probate court," the reported documents read. "The parties shall file a status report re: the probate proceedings no later than April 13, 2020."
Upon the initial paperwork filing to continue the lawsuit, Yellowcard had made no comment. Previously they stated “We’re digesting the news.” A few days later, Yellowcard’s lawyer Richard Busch’s firm, King & Fallow made a statement to Billboard.
“First of all, we were as shocked and saddened by Juice WRLD’s death as everyone else,” King & Fallow state. “It is a tragic loss to his family, his fans, and to the music world at large, and we understand why people may be confused about the decision to continue with this lawsuit.”
“My clients are certainly torn about proceeding, and understand the optics involved. But it is important to remember that this lawsuit was filed before this tragic event, and was filed because all of the defendants (and there are two other writers and several music publishers and record labels), profited off of what we believe was clear copying and infringement of Yellowcard’s work.” King & Fallow continue.
“So while they are absolutely aware of how this may be perceived, and truly have incredible mixed emotions, the question is whether it is fair that all of those many parties profited, and will continue to profit, off of what my client’s believe strongly was their work.”
Yellowcard is seeking $15 million in damages in the suit. They claim the rapper’s 2018 hit “Lucid Dreams” was a knock off of their 2006 track “Holly Wood Died”.
But, King & Fallow also state that the $15 million number attached to the lawsuit was falsely reported. They state that Yellowcard “are simply seeking what the law allows, and what parties in their position have sought in similar cases, which at this point is not determined.”
Former Yellowcard members William Ryan Key, Sean Michael Wellman-Mackin, Peter Michael Mosely and Longineu Warren Parsons filed the complaint in late October in the U.S. District Court in California.
“Defendants copied the Original Work without license or consent, and have exploited the subsequent Infringing Work and Infringing Sound Recording to their collective benefit without regard to Plaintiffs’ rights and to Plaintiffs’ detriment,” the filed complaint reads.
“The Infringing Work and Infringing Sound Recording are not only substantially similar to the Original Work, but in some places virtually identical.”
Juice WRLD’s death occurred after Higgins deplaned from a private jet traveling from California to his hometown of Chicago. Once landing at Chicago Midway International Airport, witnesses reported he suffered a seizure while walking through the airport. TMZ reports he was “bleeding from the mouth” when paramedics arrived.
More Juice WRLD
Following Juice WRLD's official autopsy report, his family and friends released a statement thanking fans and discussing future plans for music releases. Now, it has come to light that Juice WRLD may have as many as 2,000 unreleased tracks.
The world is still mourning the untimely loss of Anthony Jarad Higgins. The young sensation was beloved by music fans for his talent and charisma. Last month, his family and team at Grade A issued a statement about Juice WRLD and their plans on continuing his legacy.
“From the bottom of our hearts we want to thank each and every one of you for your undivided adoration and love for Juice,” they began. “You guys meant the entire world to Juice and by listening to his music, watching his videos and sharing your stories about him, you are keeping his memory alive forever. We plan to honor Juice’s talents, his spirit, and the love he felt for his fans by sharing unreleased music and other projects that he was passionately in the process of developing. There will be a public tribute in Chicago, details will be shared soon.”
According to TMZ, it is believed that Juice WRLD has up to 2,000 unreleased songs in his catalog. Sources also say that ideas are being floated around on what to do with Juice WRLD’s songs. They’re discussing ways to pay tribute to his work that could include a posthumous album or other musical endeavors. How could someone so young have so many songs in their backlog? Well, according to sources talking to TMZ, “he didn’t do much besides ride his dirt bike and record music”
Last month, 26 of Higgins’ songs were leaked online but were quickly wiped from the internet by his team. A report indicates that the leak was possible due to a hard drive that Juice WRLD liked to use at his studio.
Juice WRLD rose to recognition with breakout single “Lucid Dreams” in 2018, a track first released on SoundCloud in 2017. It debuted at No. 74 on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at No. 2. “Lucid Dreams” later appeared on his debut album Goodbye & Good Riddance, which released in May 2018.
Another star rapper Mac Miller also tragically passed in 2018. A posthumous album titled Circles was just released on Jan. 17 which sat at No. 3 atop the Billboard 200. A posthumous Juice WRLD album might be just what his fans need to help grieve the young star.
See more: In memoriam: Musicians we lost in 2019