Legendary Oakland rapper Too Short could be losing his local recording studio over an unpaid million dollar settlement stemming from a 1991 car crash.
According to the Oakland Tribune, Too Short was involved in a head-on collision in his hometown in 1991 which resulted in the death of a 22 year old passenger named James Ellerbee. The driver, Matthew Martin, suffered serious injuries.
Authorities claim Too Short had clipped a parked car about 400 feet away with his GMC pickup truck and was fleeing the scene of that accident moments before colliding with a Mercury Cougar which was carrying Ellerbee and Martin.
Too Short's GMC was uninsured and the rapper's blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.
Ellerbee's parents would slap Too Short with a $17 million wrongful death suit but the rapper would agree in 1996 to pay $1 million to the Ellerbee's and Martin.
Lawyers representing Martin and the Ellerbee's claim that Too Short has avoided paying the full settlement and now owes more than $1.1 million including interest charges.
Alameda County Sheriff's Office have been ordered to seize equipment that Too Short installed in his local studio called UpAllNite as payment for the remainder of the settlement. The rapper opened the studio in May.
"It was very, very frustrating," said Bobby Ellerbee, the father of James Ellerbee. "We were waiting and waiting and waiting for a payment that never came. He knows he owes."
Too Short's lawyer, Phaedra Parks, claims that her client has not been able to come up with a lump sum and has paid $500,000 over the years. However, court documents obtained by the Oakland Tribune show that Too Short has only paid $282,000.
Roger Patton, Martin's lawyer, revealed to the Tribune that Too Short has made small payments to his client occasionally but has claimed he doesn't have enough money to pay more.
Montie Day, a lawyer who was hired to collect the $718,000 balance, says he has pursued Too Short across three cities and two states. Day claims he has had to go after the rapper's assets and earnings.
"It's been like spinning my wheels," explained Day.
The Sheriff's deputies have not seized Too Short's equipment from the studio because they have been unable to serve him a court order which will force the rapper to turn over his assets and appear in Superior Court next month.