Nancy McCallum, the mother of late Alice In Chains singer Layne Staley, has filed a lawsuit against his former bandmates alleging she is owed royalties from the band’s music — past, present and future. The band’s 1992 album Dirt, for which Staley was best known, sold more than 4 million copies.
According to court filings via Seattle Post Intelligencer, McCallum claims she’s owed half of all monies due her son, which amounts to around 16 percent of Alice In Chains’ income. Her suit also claims she has been cut from future payments.
Members Sean Kinney and Jerry Cantrell put forth that the financial arrangement between Staley and the band ended with his death.
According to documents, Alice in Chains has attempted to settle up with McCallum to the tune of $341,000, and that Staley’s heirs would continue to receive royalties from songs he was directly involved in writing.
Further aggravating the band, McCallum attempted to illegally trademark the name, Alice In Chains. A search of the U.S. Patent and Trademark database revealed an application submitted in December 2011 by NancyLayneCo, LLC. In a letter submitted to the court, Alice in Chains’ attorney Peter Paterno, called McCallum’s actions “disturbing.” He threatened to take legal action if she didn’t cease the application.
Stayley, who served as the band’s first singer, died in 2002 from drug-related causes. Through her attorney, McCallum has asserted that she has been “been defending her son’s legacy for the past decade.” Staley’s mother maintains the Layne Staley Memorial Fund, which helps with addiction treatment in the Seattle music community.
After years of inactivity, the band reunited in 2005 with new vocalist William DuVall. The band has since released one album, 2009’s Black Gives Way To Blue, and are preparing for the release of The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here on May 28.