A legal battle between Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson’s estate was turned on its head on Tuesday by an appeals court in California.
Jones and the Jackson estate are fighting over the producer’s claims to millions of dollars in royalties, and this week, they hit a roadblock after the California Court of Appeal reversed a $9.4 million judgment in Jones’ favor. The court ruled that the trial judge in the case erred in allowing the 2017 trial jury to decide things the judge should have decided, including contract interpretation.
That decision led to the jurors accepting Jones’ argument he was entitled to more than the standard 10% producing fee called for in his contracts with the Jackson estate for his work on projects that were produced after Jackson’s death in 2009, which included remixes of hit songs along with the licensing of masters for the “This Is It” documentary.
Now, the court is erasing most of the jury’s award to Jones and seding the case back to the trial court to amend the judgment accordingly. The court did, however, leave the $2.6 million awarded to Jones for unpaid license fees from “This Is It,” plus other fees and interest.
A new 87-year-old Quincy Jones originally sought $30 million from the estate when he filed his lawsuit back in 2013. After the jury ruled, the Jackson estate appealed, and Jones cross-appealed seeking even more money than before. His lawyers argued that he was the victim of “financial elder abuse” and sought attorney fees under state laws, but the appeals court rejected that.
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