Blackground Lawsuit Tossed

A New York City appeals court ruled that Blackground Records, the label that represented Aaliyah, cannot sue the video producer who chartered the plane that crashed and killed the singer in 2001.

The court dismissed the label’s lawsuit against Instinct Productions, saying that only Aaliyah’s parents had the right to sue for wrongful death. Michael and Diana Haughton did just that, and reached an undisclosed settlement in 2003 with the plane’s operator, owners and flight broker.

Aaliyah, 22, had wrapped up filming a music video in the Bahamas when she and eight others headed back to Florida aboard a twin-engine Cessna that crashed right after takeoff.

The investigation determined the plane was overloaded by 700 pounds and an autopsy report noted cocaine and alcohol in the pilot’s bloodstream.

Blackground Records filed a negligence lawsuit against Instinct in November 2003, claiming Aaliyah was an asset of the record label.

Instinct tried to have the suit thrown out on the grounds that Aaliyah was an employee of the label and not an asset.

Last May, the New York State Supreme Court ruled Aaliyah could be considered an asset of Blackground and the label could sue for damages.