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FutureStarrThe Offspring Beat Ex-Drummer's Lawsuit Seeking Millions More From $35M Cat Sale
James Lilja was one of those members who left The Offspring early on to pursue other endeavors, yet he never gave up his desire to be a doctor.
That dream came true when he completed medical school and launched his practice. Now he's involved in a medical malpractice trial in California, and on Tuesday afternoon, he saved another prospective juror's life through CPR.
A Los Angeles judge has sided with The Offspring in their long-running lawsuit. In it, Ron Welty claimed he was owed millions more from Round Hill Music's 2015 deal to acquire The Offspring's recorded masters and music publishing rights for $35 million.
However, the judge dismissed many remaining claims in Welty's suit. He noted that all claims were "founded on identical allegations and present identical factual and legal questions which the court already decided in defendants' favor."
Another issue resolved was a medical malpractice trial against an OB-GYN named James Lilja. When a prospective juror collapsed and hit his head during jury selection, Lilja saved the man's life by performing CPR and using a defibrillator.
Law 360 reported that Lilja's family was concerned Lilja's heroic act would unfairly prejudice other potential jurors. Thankfully, the judge agreed to a mistrial, which became official Tuesday by an official judge.
The judge was quick to point out that other doctors in California are also trying to save lives, so Dr. Lilja's actions weren't unpunished. Even so, courtroom audiences laughed when they heard Dr. James Lilja was being tried for medical malpractice after saving one of their potential jurors' lives.
Although the doctor is feeling embarrassed by his new trial, he's determined not to let it ruin his day. He tells Law 360 that although the good deed may have been a little too endearing, it still serves as an example of "do no harm," an essential principle in medicine.
The judge also ruled that Symmonds' wrongful termination lawsuit against Money is nothing more than falsehoods intended to disparage and extort him. Money's lawyer noted that Symmonds' reference to "Chemo the Drummer" was predated his cancer diagnosis - it was an insulting reference aimed at mocking Money's age, health issues (including bladder cancer and back problems) which had already been mentioned previously.
Ron Welty joined the band in 1987 as a replacement for their original drummer James Lilja. He remained with them until 2003, when he left to form his own musical project called Steady Ground which he co-produced (before dissolving in 2007).
In 2015, The Offspring sold their music catalog for $35 million to Round Hill Music. In his lawsuit, Welty claimed he was owed millions more in profits from this sale--money which should have been returned to him.
In January, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge William F. Fahey rejected most of Welty's claims. He found some of them to be "completely illogical."
He did not rule out other claims going to trial, however. On March 6, however, he issued his ruling in favor of The Offspring and effectively ended the case.
In the end, their lawsuit was settled through mutual consent. Meanwhile, the band is working hard to restore their legacy with new songs and renewed energy.
Ron is an accomplished attorney, mediator and neutral arbitrator. He often receives requests from other attorneys for judgment on their cases.
He is also a member of the American Bar Association.
Ron has extensive legal experience, having served in leadership roles at both Ohio State Bar Association and Akron Bar Association for three decades. From personal injury to commercial litigation and criminal defense, Ron's expertise stands the test of time.
At Fresno State University, he launched the university's first doctoral degree program in education and helped tailor its offerings to the region's needs. Furthermore, he led numerous NCAA investigations and gender discrimination lawsuits.
He is now the longest-serving president in Fresno State's history. In order to secure private support for its academic programs and ensure they remain viable despite increasingly unpredictable funding from California State University system institutions, he recently spoke at their annual fall assembly to urge voters not to support Proposition 30, a proposed tax measure which would drastically reduce CSU budgets by $13.2 million.
After a protracted and costly legal battle, The Offspring have achieved an important victory in their dispute with former drummer Ron Welty. On Monday a Los Angeles judge sided with the band on all remaining claims against Welty who claimed he was owed millions more from their $35 million catalog sale to Round Hill Music back in 2015.
Billboard reported that the dispute had been simmering for some time, but was finally put to the spotlight by former bassist Gregory Kriesel's lawsuit filed in September 2020. In it, Kriesel accused The Offspring's other founding members of devising a scheme to force him out without fair compensation.
On October's bench trial, The Offspring's other members-- Kevin "Noodles" Wasserman and Gregory "Greg K." Kriesel-- testified that the deal between Round Hill and the band was fair. It included recorded masters for six studio albums and a greatest hits album as well as Holland's publishing rights throughout The Offspring's entire career--structured as two separate agreements: $20 million payment to key members for their portion of recordings; another $15 million payment to Holland for his publishing rights.
In January, Fahey found the deal had been structured according to industry standards and that Welty had failed to establish his entitlement to a share of Holland's $15 million earnings from the sale of his publishing rights. Nevertheless, the judge felt there were other matters which needed further adjudication.
Therefore, The Offspring's legal team decided to seek a ruling on all remaining claims against them and filed a motion for summary judgment. John Snow of King Holmes Paterno & Soriano declined to comment on this motion which asks that the court dismiss all remaining claims against the band and order a mistrial so other potential jurors could be selected without prejudice toward either side.
While the case against The Offspring is ongoing, its other members have moved on with their lives and the future of the band appears bright. At present, The Offspring remain focused on recording new material in the studio.
In 2015, The Offspring sold their entire catalog to Round Hill Music - a London-based music royalties fund that specializes in purchasing music rights from legacy acts. This deal included all six albums and a greatest hits album as well as music publishing rights spanning throughout their entire career.
At the time of sale, Round Hill paid an estimated $35 million for these rights. However, former drummer Ron Welty claimed he hadn't only been underpaid for his share of the recordings but also owed millions more in profits. In a lawsuit filed against The Offspring and Round Hill, former lead singer Bryan "Dexter" Holland attempted to erase his contributions to their heyday by refusing him his full share of the catalog.
Meanwhile, The Offspring members testified that the sale had been structured as two separate deals: a $20 million payment for their shares of the recordings and an additional $15 million cut for Holland's publishing rights. Ultimately, Judge William Fahey ruled that this arrangement adhered to industry standards and Holland had every right to keep his publishing rights.
After a protracted legal battle, the Los Angeles County Superior Court judge finally declared that The Offspring had successfully avoided paying any further damages. His ruling also concluded that all other issues in the case had been settled and no further action would be required.
It's encouraging that the band's back catalog has now been acquired by Round Hill Music, founded a decade ago by Josh Gruss (former executive of Bear Stearns and Sony Music). Round Hill Music owns copyrights to music from The Beatles, Louis Armstrong, Celine Dion and many more - an important step towards financial sustainability for the company.
In 2017, Round Hill acquired a majority stake in Zync Music, an expert at licensing music to advertising and other media for sync purposes. This deal provides Round Hill with its own in-house sync operation to maximize the use of their copyrights. Furthermore, their investments in music catalogs should continue to benefit from streaming services' rising popularity.