Legal Settlement Reached over Billy Joel Music Royalties

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By Kamika Dunlap on April 27, 2010 2:15 PM

A legal settlement has been reached over Billy Joel music royalties, ending a lawsuit filed by his former drummer.

Grammy Award-winning Billy Joel was accused of conning his longtime drummer out of royalties, Reuters reports.

However, Billy Joel has amicably resolved the matter and the terms of the legal settlement have not been discussed, Reuters reports.

Liberty DeVitto was Joel's principal drummer from 1975 to 2005. He performed on "The Stranger," "52nd Street," "Glass Houses" and "Storm Front," as well as in Joel's touring band. He claimed in his lawsuit that Joel deprived him from royalties owed to him.

Joel's recording company, Sony Music Entertainment Inc, was also named as a defendant. The lawsuit was filed in May 2009.

According to the lawsuit, DeVitto was shocked when he was abruptly fired by Joel and thrown out of the band in 2005. DeVitto believes he was kicked out after he took part in an intervention with Joel over his addictions, the Insider reports.

DeVitto's lawsuit alleged that Joel breached agreements to pay him royalties on 11 album sales.

DeVitto worked as a studio musician and teacher to support his family, including three children.

Joel has sold more than 100 million records worldwide.

The lawsuit has been dropped and the parties have reached a settlement.

Many disputes are resolved through legal settlement. The structure of settlements can vary widely, but often includes the plaintiff agreeing not to pursue further legal action regarding the injury or dispute at hand, in exchange for something (usually, but not always, money) from the defendant.

Coming to settlement before the trial begins helps both sides avoid the costs of litigation.