Anderson v. LaVereAnnotate this Case
When legendary blues musician Robert Johnson died intestate in 1938, he had no money and appeared to have left no assets to distribute to heirs, so no estate was opened at that time. But the increasing popularity of Johnson's music over the years following his death led Steven LaVere, a music producer from Tennessee who owned Delta Haze Corporation, to contact Johnson's half-sister, Carrie Thompson, about previously unpublished photographs of Johnson. Believing Thompson to be Johnson's only heir, LaVere requested the photographs to launch a new release of Johnson's music. The legatees of Carrie Thompson sought to recover royalties and fees from the use of two photographs that were ultimately used in the project. Among the several reasons the trial court denied their claim was that the statute of limitations had expired. Finding no reversible error, the Supreme Court affirmed.