Sleaze Roxx reports that Russell has filed a lawsuit for wrongful use of the band's name.
Russell was hospitalized in the summer of 2010 after suffering a perforated bowel, and he was ultimately forced to sit out the remaining dates on Great White's 25th anniversary tour while he recovered and XYZ star Terry Ilous was called in to take his place.
However, founding member Russell has now accused lead guitarist Mark Kendall, drummer Audie Desbrow, keyboard player Michael Lardie, bassist Scott Snyder, and Ilous of firing him and using group's name while he was sick.
Courthouse News Service has obtained a copy of the legal documents, which were filed on Thursday, and a portion of the complaint reads, "In August of 2010, plaintiff was hospitalized and underwent emergency surgery for a life threatening condition. While he recuperated from this surgery, other singers filled in for him during GREAT WHITE's live performances, however, it was undisputed that plaintiff's absence was temporary, and that he retained his position in the band's lineup and would resume singing with the band upon his recuperation.
"By December of 2011, plaintiff had recuperated sufficiently to be able to once again perform as lead singer. However, defendants, who had apparently decided that they would prefer that band continue without plaintiff, stated that he would not be 'permitted' to return to his band until he agreed to a lengthy set of conditions... that was clearly designed to keep him from returning to the band."
Russell has reportedly asked the remaining members to perform under a different title but they refused and now the group plans on releasing a new album as Great White, which the rocker claims will cause severe damage to his reputation.
His lawyers state, "The release of the Elation album will irretrievably alter the discography of the band GREAT WHITE, tarnishing and diluting the trademark, reputation, and goodwill that plaintiff has developed over 30 years."
The rocker is seeking a minimum of $500,000 in damages for trademark infringement, injury to business reputation, and unfair competition.