Notorious BIG lawsuit dismissed
Published 21/04/2010 | 11:33
A wrongful death lawsuit over the fatal shooting of Notorious BIG has been dismissed.
An attorney for the rapper's estate, Bradley Gage, said the dismissal of the long-running case - filed by the star's family, including his widow Faith Evans, against the city of Los Angeles and the LAPD - could clear the way for investigators to make arrests in BIG's 1997 death.
The federal case was dismissed on April 5 after attorneys for the estate and the city agreed that it could be refiled later.
The case included allegations that LAPD officers were involved in the killing of BIG, whose real name was Christopher Wallace and was also known as Biggie Smalls. The lawsuit also named Death Row Records founder Marion "Suge" Knight, who the suit accused of ordering the killing.
The star was gunned down in March 1997 after leaving a late-night party at a Los Angeles museum.
The lawsuit was first filed in 2002. A federal judge declared a mistrial in 2005 after attorneys for Wallace's family discovered the city had withheld a trove of LAPD documents. A judge ordered the city to pay more than one million dollars in sanctions.
Gage said he still doesn't have access to some records because of ongoing police and federal investigations.
He said dismissing the case gives authorities time to investigate the killing without worrying whether their agency will be found liable at a trial.
He predicted it could take two or three years before the case would be refiled, depending on the criminal investigation.
The case was brought on behalf of Wallace's family, including his mother Voletta and widow Faith Evans, an RnB singer.