Along with their growing success, band Sugarland are currently sued by former band mate Kristen Hall, one of whom created the band in 2002. She is seeking more than $1.5 million from current members of the group, Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush who have been previously reported to put their latest album "Love on the Inside" at number one in Billboard Hot 200 chart this week.
Kristen has filed legal document in U.S. District Court of Atlanta in late July with a lawsuit statement saying that "Jennifer and Kristian have acted in bad faith, have been stubbornly litigious and have caused [Hall] unnecessary trouble and expense." The lawsuit also said that from mid-2002 until late 2005, the trio have agreed to share time, effort, energy, and passion in order to make the band a creative and commercial success. In return for that, though Kristen has left the band in 2005 to pursue a solo career as a singer-songwriter, she will still receive any profit and income earned by the band. Beside sharing profit, they have also agreed to share any financial losses that might be suffered by the band in the future.
Furthermore, the legal document said that Kristen has indeed performed her obligations. This includes her work on the band's breakthrough single "Baby Girl" in their 2004 "Twice the Speed of Life" album. The single was said to have received a poor response from the band's label Mercury Nashville Records until it was re-recorded by Kristen, which then became one of the most successful singles in the history of country music. The document also mentions Kristen's work as a co-writer of every song in the 2004 album, which reached double platinum and was sold two million copies.
However, after Kristen left the band, she was said to be excluded from her share of the partnership's profits. In this stage, Kristen is said to just look for fairness relating to their agreement.
Kristen's attorney Barry A. O'Neil said that the trio had actually attempted to negotiate a resolution but until now there is no such solution that can satisfy both parties. The lawyer also stated that no written contract exists. In an interview, he said "Partnerships are formed all the time without written agreement. That doesn't mean there wasn't a partnership."
A spokesman for Mercury Records refuses to give any comment on the lawsuit. Instead, he refers the band's attorney Gary Gilbert to provide a public statement. However, Gary couldn't be reached as he is reported to be currently out of town.