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Judge allows Jimi Hendrixs estate to move forward with its $2 million lawsuit


LOS ANGELES, Calif.–A judge today finalized her tentative ruling allowing Jimi Hendrix’s estate to move forward with its $2 million lawsuit against a producer concerning a proposed film and soundtrack compiled from 1969 concerts by the famed musician in Europe.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Amy Hogue affirmed her tentative ruling handed down Tuesday denying a motion by attorneys for Gerald Goldstein to toss out the case filed by the Hendrix estate in May 2011.

In her one-page ruling, Hogue said she had ruled against Goldstein’s lawyers on a previous dismissal motion and that the latest attempt makes “substantially the same arguments.”

Hogue’s mind was not swayed after hearing a lengthy argument today from defense attorney Brent Blakely.

“There’s enough here to get past the pleading stage,” she said.

Both sides are scheduled to meet with Judge Louis Meisinger, a settlement judge, on Friday to see if the case can be resolved. Trial is scheduled to begin Monday, but Hogue said she will delay it if the settlement discussions continue beyond Friday.

The Hendrix concerts were performed in Austria, France and Germany and at the Royal Albert Hall in London. They were recorded by Goldstein and the late producer Steve Gold with the intention of producing and distributing a motion picture about the performances, the suit states.

Hendrix died at age 27 in September 1970 of an accidental drug overdose.

He did not have a will and his father, James Hendrix, inherited his son’s assets.

After years of legal disputes between the two sides concerning ownership of the rights to the proposed motion picture and soundtrack, Hendrix’s estate approached Goldstein in 2002 to discuss completing the film together, the lawsuit states. They entered a joint agreement that included restoring the nearly 40,000 feet of footage of the concerts, rehearsals and backstage gatherings, and they agreed to find a distributor, according to the lawsuit.

Hendrix’s estate contributed more than half of the $2 million the project cost, the suit states.

In September 2010, Sony made a final offer that the Hendrix heirs accepted, but which Goldstein turned down because the distributor was only proposing to screen the film in six theaters, according to court papers submitted by both sides.

The Hendrix heirs allege that Goldstein’s decision was unfair because Sony’s was the only distribution offer the two sides could get. Their suit asks that Goldstein return all money the estate contributed to the film project and requests that the judge declare that the heirs own the movie’s soundtrack rights.