Kesha’s Latest Lawsuit Against Dr. Luke Rejected

Judge blocks pop star’s amended claims arguing breach of contract, unpaid royalties

A New York judge rejected Kesha’s amended lawsuit against producer Dr. Luke. Credit: James Devaney/Getty

A New York judge rejected Kesha’s attempt to amend her lawsuit against Dr. Luke, Billboard reports. The ruling is another blow to the embattled pop star, who has been trying to get out of her contract with Dr. Luke (real name Lukasz Gottwald) and Sony after claiming the producer sexually assaulted and abused her. The singer leveled these accusations against Dr. Luke in October 2014 after the producer sued her that same month for defamation and breach of contract.

In January, Kesha’s legal team attempted to amend their lawsuit against Dr. Luke after New York Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich rejected two previous suits. Most notably, Kornreich denied Kesha’s request for an injunction in February 2016 that would have allowed her to sign with a new record label. And in April 2016, Kornreich dismissed another set of claims and ruled that Kesha could not allege that Dr. Luke carried out a hate crime against her. At the time, Judge Kornreich did not not dismiss the claims pertaining to whether Kesha’s contracts with Dr. Luke were null.

In their most recent amended lawsuit, Kesha’s team attempted to prove breach of contract in several ways. First, they claimed Dr. Luke’s companies, Prescription and KMI, broke their contracts with the singer when they failed to report and pay royalties. The amended suit also argued that Dr. Luke broke the “good faith” assumption in all contracts through his years of alleged abuse and his alleged failure to help Kesha release her third album.

Judge Kornreich shut down the unpaid royalties argument, however, noting that a witness for Dr. Luke had provided an accounting statement that showed Kesha actually owed the producer $1.3 million in royalties. Furthermore, Kesha did not provide any evidence to counter that accounting statement. Kornreich also found that Kesha failed to give notice of the allegedly unsent accounting statements and royalty payments within the proper time frame. She also ruled that Kesha was not, as she claimed, performing under her current contract with Dr. Luke and therefore “cannot maintain a breach of contract claim based on the implied covenant [of good faith].”

Judge Kornreich also denied Kesha’s request that the court terminate her contracts with Dr. Luke after the release of her third album. The amended suit argued it would be impractical or impossible for the singer to keep working with the producer due to his alleged abuse and good faith violations. But Judge Kornreich ruled that Kesha could not claim his allegedly abusive behavior was unforeseeable because “Kesha has admitted that Gottwald’s alleged abuse began at the outset of their relationship in 2005.”

Kesha’s team also tried to argue that because Dr. Luke’s contract with Sony “purportedly ends in March 2017,” Kesha would need court supervision or Sony’s assistance to keep fulfilling her current contract. Judge Kornreich disagreed, ruling this claim about Dr. Luke’s agreement with Sony was “speculative.” She also struck down Kesha’s attempt to invoke California’s “seven-year” rule – which states that a court can’t enforce a personal service contract after seven calendar years from when the deal began – because her contracts were subject to New York law.

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About Dr. Luke:

Dr. Luke

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Dr. Luke

Dr. Luke at the 2014 ASCAP awards
Background information
Birth name Lukasz Sebastian Gottwald[1]
Born (1973-09-26) September 26, 1973 (age 43)
Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.
Origin New York, New York, U.S.
  • Record producer
  • songwriter
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1997–present
Labels Kemosabe Records
Associated acts

Lukasz Sebastian Gottwald (born September 26, 1973),[2] known professionally as Dr. Luke, is an American record producer and songwriter. Dr. Luke’s professional music career began in the late night television sketch comedy Saturday Night Live as its house band‘s lead guitarist in 1997 and producing remixes for artists such as Bon Jovi and Gravediggaz. He came into music prominence in 2004 for producing Kelly Clarkson‘s single “Since U Been Gone” with Swedish record producer Max Martin.

Gottwald continued to co-write and produce commercially successful records such as “Who Knew” (2006) for Pink, “Girlfriend” (2007) for Avril Lavigne, and “I Kissed a Girl” (2008) for Katy Perry, before leaving Saturday Night Live and reuniting with Clarkson for “My Life Would Suck Without You” (2009).

While continuing to produce for Perry, Lavigne, and Pink, Gottwald has also worked with other artists, including Taio Cruz, B.o.B, Britney Spears, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, T.I., Flo Rida, Miley Cyrus, Jessie J, Juicy J, Ne-Yo, Shakira and Pitbull. Dr. Luke is also noted for signing recording artists such as Kesha and Sabi and playing a vital part in their careers.

In October 2014, Kesha initiated a series of lawsuits, alleging sexual assault and abuse by Gottwald;[3] the case in New York is still ongoing as of September 2016.[4]

Dr. Luke’s work has been recognized with various music industry awards. Music publication Billboard named him as one of the top performing producers of the 2000s. The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers awarded him Producer and Songwriter of the Year honors from 2009 to 2011. At the 53rd Grammy Awards, he was nominated for a Grammy Award for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical, and Perry’s Teenage Dream was nominated for Grammy Award for Album of the Year.

Early life

Lukasz Sebastain Gottwald was born in Providence, Rhode Island.[2] He is Jewish.[5] His father, Janusz Jerzy Gottwald, was an architect who was born in Łask, Poland.[6] Gottwald spent many of his formative years in New York City. He had originally wanted to be a drummer, but his parents refused to allow a drum kit in the house.[2] At 13, he picked up his older sister’s guitar and taught himself how to play. As a teenager, Gottwald would “listen to bad music over and over, if there was a guitar part [he] admired, so [he] could figure out what the guitar player was doing right.”[2][5]

About the Judge:

New York County – Manhattan

Biography of Justice Shirley Werner Kornreich  (Jewish)

Justice KornreichJUSTICE SHIRLEY WERNER KORNREICH is a graduate of New York University (Phi Beta Kappa) and New York University School of Law (1975).

She worked as an appellate attorney for The Legal Aid Society, Criminal Defense Division, in both Nassau County and New York County, arguing cases in the Appellate Divisions, First and Second Departments, and the New York Court of Appeals. From October 1986 to November 1987, she was a trial lawyer with The Legal Aid Society, Criminal Defense Division, New York County and, subsequently, worked as Principal Law Assistant to Justice Ira R. Globerman in Bronx Supreme Court, Criminal Division.

Justice Kornreich was elected to the Civil Court in 1994, to a term beginning in January 1995. She was appointed as an Acting Supreme Court Justice in January 2002 and sat in an Individual Assignment Part until her appointment to the Commercial Division in March 2009. In addition to the IA Part, Justice Kornreich was appointed to Complex Litigation, overseeing and trying mass torts. She continues to oversee a mass tort docket.

Justice Kornreich is a member of the New York City Bar Association, the Women’s Bar Association, the Jewish Lawyers Guild and Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert (JALBCA). She is a past officer and co-president of JALBCA and sits on its Board of Directors.

My Comment:  The Jewish stick together as a Clan so I don’t think Kesha will get anywhere with this lawsuit.

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