The class action lawsuit was originally filed against UMG on June 21, 2019 by Soundgarden, Hole. Tom Whalley, Steve Earle and Jane Petty, who, according to the court, wanted to get back half of all billing proceeds and insurance payments – allegedly valued at $ 150 million – that UMG received in a confidential settlement due to the 2008 fire at Universal Studios’ property had papers. The artists sued UMG for breach of contract, negligence, reckless behavior and misrepresentation, as well as other grounds of complaint, because they had suffered irreparable losses on their master recordings. But Hole, Soundgarden, Tom Whalley and Steve Earle all voluntarily withdrew from the lawsuit when it was shown that they had not suffered any losses from the fire.
On April 6, US District Judge John Kronstadt dismissed Jane Petty’s lawsuit, ruling that she had not presented enough evidence to the court. She responded by re-filing an amended lawsuit against UMG suing them for breach of contract and breach of the implied contract of good faith and fairness.
Kronstadt made its second decision to dismiss Jane Petty’s case, focusing only on the former couple’s 1998 marriage agreement and not on the provisions in Tom Petty’s contract with MCA. Jane Petty argued in court records that the marriage agreement stipulated that she and Tom Petty would each have an “undivided half (1/2) stake as tenants along with these assets,” and therefore she owned 100% of the rights contractual rights of Tom Petty in relation to the [Marital Settlement]including some of the people involved in this action. “
It was not until May 18, 2020, however, that UMG learned that the marital settlement also contained an “agreement on the suspension of net income and license fees”, which stipulated that Tom Petty had “the sole and exclusive right to prosecute third parties to defend and to regulate – acts or claims of parties in relation to the collective works and to prevent and limit the infringement of copyright or other rights in relation to the collective works ”in relation to his masters. Jane Petty argued that it was “implied” that she had been granted the right to bring a lawsuit on his behalf.
Kronstadt disagreed. The Override Agreement, he wrote in his ruling, “cannot be canceled, amended, amended, or repealed in any way, in whole or in part, except by a written document signed by the accused party or the judge of the family court. “
He also ruled that the provision clearly showed that Jane had no authority to sue for an alleged breach of Tom Petty’s MCA contract on his records, and said there was no point in filing another complaint with Jane.
Jane Petty’s attorneys did not respond to Billboard’s request for comment at the time of publication.