They vow to “vigorously defend” themselves against lawsuit – and ask why it took accusers 20 years to file it
Poison insist there’s no truth behind a lawsuit which accuses them of stealing some of the songs which appeared on their debut album Look What the Cat Dragged In.
They’re the subject of a lawsuit filed by two musicians who worked with guitarist CC DeVille before he joined Poison and made it big.
Billy McCarthy and James Stonich auditioned DeVille for their outfit Kid Rocker, and they say the tryout included two of their songs which DeVille later incorporated into Poison tracks.
After Kid Rocker split McCarthy says he offered DeVille’s new band Screamin’ Mimis his song Talk Dirty To Me, which also appeared on Poison’s first 1986 album and helped it sell four million copies.
The lawsuit claims McCarthy and Stonich are due all profits from Talk Dirty to Me, I Won’t Forget You, Fallen Angel and Ride the Wind – and also seeks to prevent Poison from playing the songs ever again.
Now a lawyer representing Bret Michaels and co says the band are ready to defend their position.
Mark D Passin tells the Hollywood Reporter: “Poison will vigorously defend against the baseless accusations alleged in the complaint.
“Obviously, if the Poison songs that are the subject of the complaint infringed any songs written by plaintiffs McCarthy and Stonich, they would have filed their lawsuit over 20 years ago.
“It is unfortunate that success in the entertainment business often invites unmeritorious lawsuits.”
The plaintiffs are basing their case on a 1983 court of appeal ruling which says the statute of limitations does not run out on an offence until the offence has stopped being committed – and that doesn’t apply to tracks still on sale and still being performed.
But Poison point to other rulings which say the statute extended to just three years into the past if the plaintiffs knew the offence had been committed earlier, which would appear to be true in this case.
McCarthy and Stonich have not commented, but Poison have said they know the reason why it took over a quarter of a century for a lawsuit to be filed – and the reason will be revealed in court.
In 2004 McCarthy, also known as Billy Dior of the D’Molls, told Sleaz Roxx of Talk Dirty To Me: “I was the only hand in the arrangement, which Poison karaoked off the Screamin’ Mimis version. If others differ, I’m waiting to hear or see it.”