A messy lawsuit between Soundgarden and Chris Cornell’s widow is being transferred to Washington state.
A Florida judge sided with the Seattle rock band Monday, sending the case to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. At stake are seven audio recordings made by Cornell, the band’s late singer, which Soundgarden’s surviving members claim were intended for a future Soundgarden album.
Cornell’s wife, Vicky Cornell, initiated the lawsuit last year, contending the recordings belong solely to the singer’s estate and accusing the band of withholding royalty payments from her. She filed the complaint in Florida, contending the couple’s primary residence was in the Miami area and that “some (if not all)” of the recordings were made at the singer’s home studio there.
Soundgarden’s surviving members countersued this spring and sought to move the case to Seattle-area courts.
The judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida ruled this week that Florida courts did not have jurisdiction over the case, kicking it to Western Washington, where the band is based.
The lawsuit between the Grammy-winning grunge icons and their late singer’s wife has been highly contentious. In the band’s countersuit, surviving members Kim Thayil, Ben Shepherd and Matt Cameron initially accused Vicky Cornell of misusing funds from a star-studded benefit concert held in the singer’s honor last year. Challenged by Cornell’s attorneys with the threat of sanctions, Soundgarden withdrew that portion of its countersuit, while its lawyers wrote at the time that the band believes the claims “remain well-founded.”