Entertainment

Judge dismisses lawsuit over Universal Music Group vault fire

Tom Petty's widow was the only remaining claimant in the case.

A judge has dismissed a class action lawsuit against Universal Music Group (UMG) originally brought by several artists and estates over a 2008 vault fire.

Bands Soundgarden and Hole, singer-songwriter Steve Earle and the estates of Tom Petty and Tupac Shakur filed a lawsuit demanding damages in excess of 100 million US dollars, about £82 million.

It had been alleged “priceless” recordings were destroyed in the Hollywood blaze, first reported by the New York Times.

Tom Petty
A judge has dismissed a lawsuit involving Tom Petty’s widow and Universal Music Group (PA)

Artists alleged UMG was in breach of contract after not sharing a settlement it reached with insurers and accused the record company of not doing enough to prevent the fire.

However, they began dropping their claims when it was demonstrated they suffered no loss due to the fire, leaving only Tom Petty’s ex-wife, Jane, involved in the action.

On Monday, Judge John A Kronstadt filed his decision to dismiss the remaining claim, saying Petty had not filed enough evidence.

One of Petty’s key claims was UMG was obligated to pay out a portion of the insurance settlement under the terms of the singer-songwriter’s 1984 contract with MCA, a label later acquired by UMG.

Judge Kronstadt, sitting in a California court, dismissed the claim.

In a statement, UMG said: “As we have said all along, the New York Times Magazine articles at the root of this litigation were stunning in their overstatement and inaccuracy.

“As always, we remain focused on partnering with artists to release the world’s greatest music.”

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