According to the Associated Press, a jury ordered Marino’s former co-writer William Guice to pay $6.75 million in compensatory damages, along with $20.25 million in punitive damages last week at the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. Destro Music Productions, which is owned by co-defendant Dante Barton, will also pay Marino $17.35 million, which brings the lawsuit’s total to $44.35 million. The Philadelphia Inquirer also reported that Marino now owns a third of the song’s ownership rights.
The plaintiff alleged that, in 2001 and 2002, he worked on a song “Club Girl,” creating the majority of the song including the “guitar hook, tempo and chord progression.” The track, eventually renamed “Bad Girl,” appeared on Usher’s 2004 album Confessions, but didn’t credit Marino for his work on the song. However, Usher, wasn’t named in Marino’s suit.
The lawsuit initially started in 2011 against Usher and 20 other defendants for “breach of contract, fraud, and other accusations.” All of the cases were dismissed except for Marino’s lawsuit.
“For seven years, against all odds, we believed in our client and his claims,” Marino’s attorney Francis Malofiy told the Inquirer. Malofiy previously co-starred in Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” copyright infringement trial as the lawyer for Randy Wolfe’s estate, and will appear in the lawsuit’s sequel.
Confessions was seen as Usher’s breakout record by selling more than 10 million copies, one of less than 20 records to attain that “diamond-certified” status, Billboard reported.