Juice WRLD Family Members Getting Dragged Into $15MM Copyright Suit

Order signed February 11th, 2020 by US District Court judge Consuelo B. Marshall

Surviving Juice WRLD family members are now being dragged into a massive, $15 million copyright infringement lawsuit filed by Yellowcard prior to the rapper’s death.

Juice WRLD suffered a tragic overdose on December 8th last year while his private plane was raided by law enforcement agents.  Juice WRLD, aka Jarad Higgins, was declared dead within hours, but a lawsuit against him lives on.

Now, things are starting to get messy.  In the wake Juice WRLD’s death, members the band Yellowcard —William Ryan Key, Peter Michael Mosely, Longineu Warren Parsons, and Sean Michael Wellman-Mackin, as represented by industry attorney Richard Busch — decided to soldier onward with their complaint.  But suing a dead guy is proving to be a complicated task.

Back in October, Yellowcard against Juice WRLD over the song “Lucid Dreams,” which was one Higgins’ biggest hits.  Yellowcard claims that “Lucid Dreams” lifted their 2006 song, “Holly Wood Died,” though it’s unclear if Higgins was even aware the track — the rapper would have been about 7 years old at the time the song’s release.  Either way, Yellowcard is suing for damages that could reach an estimated $15 million.

Of course, Juice WRLD isn’t around to explain his influences for the song, though other defendants will undoubtedly be cross-examined.

That includes Grade A Productions, Taz Taylor, Nicholas Mira, BMG Rights Management, Kobalt Music Services, and Interscope Records, a group that specifically filed a ‘Statement Death’ with the U.S. District Court to remove Higgins’ name from the defendant list.

Now, it appears that Yellowcard, represented by Richard Busch, has pushed to keep Jarad Higgins as a defendant, albeit with a representative from his family.  But who’s the heir?  It’s unclear if Juice WRLD left a detailed will, or who is managing his estate.  Now, identifying that person (or persons) will be where this case shifts its focus.

In a court order signed Tuesday (February 11th) by U.S. District Court judge Consuelo B. Marshall, the matter was kicked to a probate court to determine who should represent Higgins and defend against the suit.

Here’s the determination from the court:

“On January 29, 2020, Defendants filed a Statement Fact Death defendant Jarad A. Higgins p/k/a “Juice WRLD.  On January 31, 2020, the parties were ordered to notify the Court whether ‘substitution the proper party’ is necessary in light the death Defendant Higgins or whether the action shall proceed ‘only… against the remaining parties’.  

“This action is STAYED pending the appointment a representative for the estate Defendant Higgins by the probate court.  “The parties shall file a status report re: the probate proceedings no later than April 13, 2020.”

Exactly who will get plucked from the Higgins clan is unclear, Higgins’ mother is a good guess.  So far, nobody has responded and claimed ownership the Juice WRLD empire.

Attorney Richard Busch has not responded to earlier requests for comment.

More as this develops.