Nation: Judge dismisses lawsuit in Columbine case

The Associated Press

DENVER (March 4, 2002 8:35 p.m. EST) - A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit Monday that claimed several video game and moviemakers shared blame for the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School.

The lawsuit was filed by the family of slain teacher Dave Sanders and on behalf of other Columbine victims. It alleged student gunmen Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold had been influenced by violent video games and movies.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Babcock granted motions to dismiss filed by Time Warner Inc. and Palm Pictures, as well as 11 video game makers, including Sony Computer Entertainment America, Activision and Id Software, the maker of "Doom."

During the investigation into the April 20, 1999, shootings, police found a videotape that shows one of the killers with a sawed-off shotgun he called "Arlene" after a character in the video game "Doom."

The plaintiffs also said Harris and Klebold had watched the Leonardo DiCaprio movie "The Basketball Diaries," in which a student kills his classmates.

Authorities say the gunmen killed Sanders and 12 students before killing themselves.