Dr. Dre and Ice Cube have won an appeal over a California wrongful death lawsuit involving Marion “Suge” Knight.
Knight allegedly killed Terry Carter, the late husband and father of plaintiffs Lillian Carter, Nekaya Carter, and Crystal Carter. Knight fatally hit Carter while driving a truck after arguing with Cle “Bone” Sloan, who worked for the producers of the film “Straight Outta Compton.”
Plaintiffs sued individuals and entities involved in the film’s production, including defendants Andre “Dr. Dre” Young, O’Shea “Ice Cube” Jackson, NBC Universal LLC, and Pretty Bird Pictures, Inc. for wrongful death/negligence and negligently hiring Sloan.
“Straight Outta Compton” revolves around the rise and fall of the seminal Compton rap group N.W.A., of which Defendants [Young] and [Jackson] were founding members. The film also addresses Young and Knight’s founding of the record label Death Row Records.
Dr. Dre and Knight have had a rocky relationship with each other ever since Dr. Dre left Death Row Records in the mid-1990s. When the movie was shooting in Compton, California, Knight showed up unexpectedly and was confronted by Sloan and told to leave.
After a verbal altercation, Knight did, but meeting was arranged in a parking lot of a nearby fast-food restaurant. Carter, a local businessman and somewhat of a mediator, attended but when tensions escalated, Knight ran him over with his SUV. Knight is due to stand trial for murder in September.
Carter’s family alleged that NBC Universal, Dr. Dre and Ice Cube were negligent and liable for wrongful death. The complaint was amended multiple times but on Wednesday an appeals court threw out the case due to a lack of foreseeability.
“It is not enough to permit a judgment that it would be foreseeable that a third party like Knight would harm a mediator at a meeting,” the court opinion read. “Particularly one [like Carter] who was, as plaintiffs allege, ‘well-respected’ by the third party.”
Click here to read the full court’s decision.