According to Billboard, a federal judge in Washington state has recommended the court throw out two of the six claims against the surviving members of SOUNDGARDEN filed by Vicky Cornell, the widow of SOUNDGARDEN singer Chris Cornell.
U.S. District Judge Michelle Peterson said that there wasn't evidence that the band was improperly withholding "hundreds of thousands of dollars" of Chris Cornell's royalties from her or that the band's manager breached his duty to look after her best interests.
The final decision on the matter will now be made by the case's presiding judge, Robert S. Lasnik.
Cornell was found hanged in his room at the MGM Grand Detroit hotel in May 2017, following a SOUNDGARDEN show at the city's Fox Theatre. His body was found soon after he had spoken with a "slurred" voice to his wife by phone. The death was ruled a suicide.
In December 2019, Vicky filed a lawsuit against the surviving SOUNDGARDEN members, alleging the group owed Cornell's estate hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid royalties and the rights to seven unreleased recordings made before the singer's death in May of 2017.
Responding to Vicky's lawsuit, Kim Thayil, Ben Shepherd and Matt Cameron claimed that they "don't have possession" of their "own creative work," and alleged that "Vicky Cornell has possession of the only existing multi-track recordings of the last SOUNDGARDEN tracks that include Chris Cornell's instrumental parts and vocals. All of the band members jointly worked on these final tracks, Vicky now claims ownership of the final SOUNDGARDEN album."
Thayil, Shepherd and Cameron initially accused Vicky Cornell of misusing funds from the January 2019 "I Am The Highway: A Tribute To Chris Cornell" concert. After being challenged by Cornell's attorneys with the threat of sanctions, SOUNDGARDEN withdrew that portion of its countersuit, while its lawyers wrote at the time that the band believes the claims "remain well-founded."
Last month, Vicky Cornell sued the surviving members of SOUNDGARDEN over the buyout price for her stake in the band. In the lawsuit, Vicky Cornell said Thayil, Cameron and Shepherd offered her just $300,000 for Chris's share. This amount, she said, is far lower than the real value of the Chris Cornell estate's interests in SOUNDGARDEN, especially considering the fact that the band got an offer of $16 million from an outside investor for SOUNDGARDEN's masters.