The widow and daughters of a man allegedly killed by Suge Knight slapped the former Death Row Records CEO, ex-members of N.W.A and Straight Outta Compton movie distributor Universal with a wrongful death lawsuit today. Supposedly acting to quell an explosive situation, Terry Carter died after a hit and run near filming for a promo for the upcoming N.W.A. biopic, seemingly struck by the Ford F-150 Raptor truck Knight was driving.
“This lawsuit concerns the tragic tale of how reckless corporate greed, disguised as the quest for authenticity, lead to a foreseeable altercation that resulted in the death of a successful businessman named Terry Carter, and left his wife of 28 years, and his two daughters asking why his death ever had to occur,” says the complaint filed by Lillian Carter and her children Nekaya and Crystal against Universal Studios Inc, Knight, Andre “Dr. Dre” Young, O’Shea “Ice Cube” Jackson, Tam’s Burgers and others in L.A. Superior Court (read it here). Universal had no comment on the six-claim complaint when contacted by Deadline. Straight Outta Compton is scheduled for released August 14.
Citing insufficient security — including the hiring of former gang members as security guards and extras on the movie — for inflaming a potentially volatile situation between Knight and the ex-N.W.A members, the suit seeks a jury trial and unspecified damages and compensation for the Carter family. Exceeding $25,000, those damages and compensation include for the “loss of past and future wages and earning capacity in an amount to be determined according to proof at trial” as well as “the loss of the love, comfort, companionship, care, assistance, society, affection, protection, and moral and financial support.” Funeral and burial expenses for Carter are also noted in the complaint.
Carter was a label owner and record producer and associate of both Knight and Ice Cube. Cube and Dr. Dre serve as producers on the F. Gary Gray-directed Straight Outta Compton pic and were involved with the promo shoot that January 29. Carter arrived on the scene in the southern L.A. County city as Knight and Cle “Bone” Sloan were confronting each other in the parking lot of Tam’s Burgers. Sloan also is named as a defendant in the complaint.
With a history of personal and professional issues between himself and Ice Cube and Dr. Dre, to put it mildly, the then-out-on-bail Knight had been asked to leave the area where a base camp had been set up for that day’s filming. Serving as technical adviser on the N.W.A pic, Sloan — who had appeared in such films as Training Day, Brooklyn’s Finest and End Of Watch — was working site security and as a location scout assistant for the promo shoot. Continuing the altercation that had started at the base camp location, things somehow blew up furhter between Knight and Sloan, and in the fallout, Carter was killed.
Knight is behind bars and charged with murder, attempted murder and hit and run for the incident, in which his pickup truck allegedly ran over Carter in the burger joint parking lot. Sloan also was injured that day and spent several weeks in the hospital with ankle, knee and shoulder injuries. Having plead not guilty and gone though several lawyers since being arrested, Knight is due back in court on July 7.
Beverly Hills-based attorneys Carl E. Douglas, Jamon Hicks, Douglas Hicks, Gary A. Dordick and Michael Jay Berger are representing the Carter family and estate in the case.