Supreme Court nixes Ozzy suits

The Supreme Court has refused to reinstate a pair of lawsuits that accused heavy metal rocker Ozzy Osbourne of inciting, through his music, the suicides of two teenagers.

The court, without comment, let stand rulings that said Osbourne’s free-speech rights protect him against such legal action.

Similar suits against Osbourne over suicides committed by youths in California and Nevada had failed.

In the Georgia case, Osbourne and CBS Records were sued by the family of Michael Waller, 16, of Fitzgerald, who shot himself in 1986 after listening repeatedly to Osbourne’s song “Suicide Solution.”

The other suit was filed by the family of 17-year-old Harold Hamilton of Charleston, S.C., who shot himself in 1988 after listening to the same song. Suits were combined on appeal.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled for Osbourne and CBS Records earlier this year.

In the appeal, lawyers for the families said a jury should decide whether Osbourne and CBS Records are entitled to free-speech protection for allegedly inciting or encouraging the suicides.

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