A Philadelphia songwriter by the name of Daniel Marino who claimed to have been cut out of profits and credit from Usher's "Bad Girl," was granted $44 million in a lawsuit that targeted the track's other co-writers.
The two defendants are William Guice, who was ordered to pay $6.75 million in compensatory damages in addition to $20.25 million in punitive damages, and Dante Barton, co-owner of Destro Music Productions. Barton was also ordered to pay damages to Marino in the sum of $17.35 million, bringing the grand total to $44.35 million.
The plaintiff argued that in 2001 and 2002 he did the bulk of the writing and production for a track titled "Club Girl," including the production of the “guitar hook, tempo, and chord progression.” The song ultimately ended up on Usher's 2004 album Confessions, after having been renamed to "Bad Girl." The album has been often cited as Usher's breakthrough project, with its diamond-certified prestige. However, Marino wasn't given credit on the track, despite his former colleagues being named.
The initial scope of the lawsuit, when it was filed in 2011, was much more extensive. The suit originally accused Usher and 20 other defendants of breach of contract and fraud, among other accusations. The Marino case was the only one that ultimately made it to trial. Marino's attorney, Francis Malofiy, explained that “for seven years, against all odds, we believed in our client and his claims.”
Usher was not named on Marino's lawsuit.