The American record company partly owned by the late singer Aaliyah has been granted permission to sue to the video producer who arranged the private jet that killed her.

New York State Supreme Court Justice CAROL EDMEAD has ruled that Aaliyah, 22, was an 'asset' rather than an 'employee' of BLACKGROUND RECORDS - and therefore the record company has a right to sue for damages because of her death.

INSTINCT PRODUCTIONS - who produced the rock the boat video Aaliyah was filming in the Bahamas - had arranged the transportation aboard the aircraft that crashed in 2001, killing her and eight others.

The company had tried to have the negligence suit dismissed on the grounds that the singer was an employee of Blackground and therefore the company had no right to sue.

However Edmead says nothing suggested Blackground - founded in 1992 by Aaliyah's uncle BARRY HANKERSON - controlled Aaliyah's music or career as an employer would.

An investigation shows the aircraft was overloaded by 315 kilograms when it went down - whilst an autopsy found cocaine and alcohol in the body of the pilot LUIS ANTONIO MORALES.

30/05/2004 10:26