The battle over Death Row Records continues, with the Mississauga, Ont. firm that bankrolled the acquisition going to court in New York seeking on the grounds that the label’s former CEO made “materially false statements.”
The latest salvo in the case, which started last November when Lara Lavi obtained a preliminary injunction against New Solutions Group, the company that paid $20-million for Death Row, will be heard on May 12, according to documents filed in New York. New Solutions is seeking payment for its legal fees as part of the submission, and asks the court to cite Lavi for civil contempt.
The two sides of the case have been fighting in Ontario commercial court for the past few months seeking to find a resolution to the dispute. Lavi has an ownership stake in the company, but New Solutions contends the company’s debt is greater than its value, essentially making her stake worthless.
In January, 2009, New Solutions Group provided a loan to Toronto-based WIDEawake Entertainment, allowing that company to purchase Death Row out of receivership. According to documents filed in Ontario, Lavi was fired from WIDEawake/Death Row in November, which started the legal wrangling.
In an e-mail to Billboard, Lavi said she “reserved comment” on the matter, but said she intends to make a settlement offer that would see her back in control of Death Row.
“My focus remains fixed on preparing my settlement offer,” she says. “[New Solutions’ executive] Robert Thompson-So asked to be bought out and I am the only person likely to make a proper offer when I am ready.”
However, Lavi says the continued battle over the company is “steadily decreasing under these people’s control.”
On April 20, Death Row says it plans to release the album “It’s All About U,” by Danny Boy. In February, Dr. Dre announced he was suing WIDEawake and Death Row over unpaid royalties resulting from the reissue of his classic rap album, “The Chronic.”