Drummer Tony McCarroll, a founding member of British rock group Oasis, has lost his bid to sue the band’s lawyers over his firing because he waited too long to start legal action. Yesterday (Nov. 28), London’s High Court threw out the claim by McCarroll that solicitors Statham Gill Davies had negligently handled Oasis’s 1993 recording agreement with Sony, allowing the band to get rid of him instantly without compensation.
The judge, awarding summary judgment to the solicitors without the need for a full trial, said McCarroll had failed to bring his claim within the legal limit of six years from the date his cause of action arose.
McCarroll helped form Oasis with schoolmates Liam Gallagher, Paul “Bonehead” Arthurs, and Paul McGuigan. Gallagher’s brother Noel joined later to form a bad-boy sibling double act that helped project the band to the forefront of the British rock scene and the front pages of tabloids and music papers.
McCarroll was part of the band when its 1994 debut album “Definitely Maybe” reached No. 1 in the U.K., but had left by the time of Oasis’ second and biggest album, “(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?” in 1995 (both albums were released by Creation in the U.K. and Epic in the U.S.). Today, only the Gallagher brothers remain from the band’s original line-up.
The judge said McCarroll had intended to claim that Statham had acted negligently and “failed to point out that the effect of the Sony agreement was that the name Oasis was owned by the Gallagher brothers and left him vulnerable to instant dismissal without compensation.”
“My conclusion is that the claimant did suffer relevant and measurable damage at the date when the Sony agreement was executed. It follows that the cause of action accrued more than six years before these proceedings were issued,” he said.
The judge said Statham repudiated the suggestion of negligence and added that McCarroll had previously won a “modest lump sum” from the four other band members over royalties from songs made before he was ejected from the group.
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