Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Judge Clears Music Royalties Settlement

June 26, 2002|From Reuters

A Los Angeles judge Tuesday approved a $4.75-million settlement of a class-action royalties suit led by late singer Peggy Lee, despite eleventh-hour objections by actor Larry Hagman.

Lee had accused Decca Records, now a unit of Vivendi Universal, of underpaying royalties to her and hundreds of other artists for four decades. About 160 artists--most of whom are dead--were part of the class action, including Pearl Bailey, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Patsy Cline, Ella Fitzgerald and Bill Haley.

Tentative settlement of the two-year-long court case was reached in January, just days before Lee's death at the age of 81.

But Hagman, executor of the estate of his mother, Mary Martin, best known for her roles in the Broadway musicals "South Pacific" and "The Sound of Music," objected last month saying the figure was too low and unfair to some artists.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Victoria Chaney ruled, however, that the settlement was fair because it followed extensive mediated bargaining and because only a small percentage of class members had objected.

Lee's lawyer, Cyrus Godfrey, told reporters that barring further legal wrangling the money could start being paid out in 90 days.

Hagman, best known for TV's "Dallas," has 30 days to decide whether to opt out of the agreement to pursue an individual claim.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|