In a ruling that was made in March 2011, but unsealed Thursday at 6:30 p.m., a New York judge has determined that the Bay City Rollers can move forward with their four-year old lawsuit against Arista Records, Inc. The Rollers claim that Arista had failed to pay them millions of dollars in royalties for more than a thirty-year period.
The suit, filed on behalf of the Scottish band by Holland & Knight, alleges that Arista breached its contract with the Rollers and failed to account for or pay any royalties to the band for years. The contract at issue was signed in 1981.
Arista denied responsibility for the majority of the royalties, claiming that the New York statute of limitations, which limits plaintiffs from recovering damages past six years in contract disputes, bars the Rollers' claims for royalties incurred prior to 2001. However, since the Rollers were able show that Arista had continued to promise them their royalties in writing, the judge ruled that the statute was not applicable.
"This ruling is a highly significant victory for the Rollers and their efforts to recoup the millions owed to them by Arista Records in unpaid royalties. We intend to aggressively pursue this until the Rollers finally receive the millions that they are owed," said Josh Krumholz of Holland & Knight, lead counsel for the Rollers.
The Bay City Rollers, also known as the "Rollers," were one of the UK's biggest selling global acts in the 1970s, gaining massive popularity around the world with their clean-cut image, distinctive plaid outfits and upbeat pop hits. For a period of time known as "Rollermania," they enjoyed sell-out tours, hit records and even had their own weekly television series in both the U.S. and UK. At the height of their fame, comparisons to the Beatles' earlier popularity were not uncommon. In total, the Rollers released eight original albums and numerous greatest hits and compilations, including at least two platinum records, six gold records and six singles that made the Top 40 on the U.S. hit charts. Among their many hits were Saturday Night, I Only Want to Be With You and Bye Bye Baby.