As initially reported by Metal Sludge, original QUEENSRŸCHE drummer Scott Rockenfield has filed a lawsuit against fellow original members Michael Wilton (guitar) and Eddie Jackson (bass), alleging a string of complaints including, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and wrongful discharge.
The complaint, filed October 11 in Snohomish County Superior Court, has been obtained by BLABBERMOUTH.NET and claims that Rockenfield took paternal leave of absence from QUEENSRŸCHE in February 2017 after his fiancée experienced complications during the birth of their son and had to have an emergency Cesarean delivery.
Rockenfield goes on to say the leave of absence was approved by the members of QUEENSRŸCHE and he was to retain an equal one-third interest in all QUEENSRŸCHE companies (QR Companies), including Tri-Ryche Corporation, Melodisc LTD., Queensryche Merchandising, Inc., EMS Music, LLC and Queensryche Holdings, LLC.
The drummer claims that he, Wilton and Jackson are the remaining founding members of QUEENSRŸCHE, as well as the “sole or majority shareholders and members of the entities controlling the intellectual property and contractual rights of said group, to wit the QR Companies.”
Rockenfield says that around the time of October 11, 2018, Wilton and Jackson purportedly “voted to dismiss Rockenfield from the QR Companies due in whole or in part to his taking of approved family leave. Rockenfield was informed of his purported dismissal from the QR Companies in a letter dated November 3, 2018.”
According to the complaint, since 2017, Wilton and Jackson “have wrongfully withheld from Rockenfield all sources of income from the QR Companies in violation of the various Operating Agreements and Contracts governing the QR Companies for no lawful purpose.” In addition, they “have failed to provide Rockenfield with an accounting of the books, records, business and contracts of the QR Companies.”
Scott says he still receives royalties from Tri-Ryche and has since February 2017, yet he has “received no payments from Melodisc since February 2017, and no payments from Queensryche Merchandising since early 2018, and no payments from EMS since February 2017.”
Scott also complains that Wilton and Jackson did not include him in the recording process for QUEENSRŸCHE’s latest studio album, “The Verdict”, “despite his availability and willingness to participate.”
“During his family medical leave, Rockenfield was in constant and continued communication with the band, participated in writing songs, and prepared for the band’s recording schedule that was set to begin in early 2018,” the complaint reads.
“In October 2018, Rockenfield participated in negotiating a new extension of QUEENSRŸCHE’s 2013 recording contract with Century Media, which would add two (2) additional albums to the recording contract, and continued to work to secure seven very lucrative licensing offers on behalf of QUEENSRŸCHE,” according to the lawsuit.
Rockenfield claims to be “owed compensation for lost wages and profits as, as well as an amount equal to the present fair market value of his equity interest in the QR Companies as of his wrongful dismissal, plus interest thereon.”
Rockenfield’s lawsuit, which also names Wilton and Jackson’s wives as defendants, comes nine months after he shot down suggestions that he quit QUEENSRŸCHE or retired from playing music.
QUEENSRŸCHE have been using former KAMELOT drummer Casey Grillo for live performances since April of 2017.