Death Row Ordered To Pay $10 Million Over Kurupt Contracts

Court awards punitive damages to men who had deals with rapper before he signed to Suge Knight's label.

A Los Angeles court has ordered Marion "Suge" Knight and his Death Row Records to pay $10 million in punitive damages to two men who had contracts with rapper Kurupt before he signed to Knight's label, according to the Associated Press.

When Kurupt signed to Death Row in 1993, he already had contracts with Ken Brumfield's Hoodsta-4-Life Publishing and Lamont Brumfield's Rapp Central Productions, the news service said.

David Kenner, Knight's lawyer, and Death Row Records told the AP they would appeal Tuesday's ruling. Last week, the same jury awarded the Brumfields $4.34 million in compensatory damages stemming from the lawsuit, filed in 1995. Kurupt was dropped from the lawsuit after he filed bankruptcy, the news service said.

A statement posted on the official Death Row Web site late Tuesday night said the label is "extremely disappointed that the jury chose a grossly excessive amount that is clearly not related to the facts of this case."

"Death Row also feels that the publicity surrounding Suge Knight and Death Row Records, both being from the street, adversely affected the jury's decision," the statement continued.

Representatives for Kurupt and the Brumfields were unavailable for comment Wednesday morning (December 13).

The label also may face legal action from Priority Records for posting an upcoming album by ex-Death Row rapper Snoop Dogg on its Web site. Knight is serving a nine-year prison term for violating probation on an assault charge.