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Judge Throws Out ‘Sopranos’ Lawsuit

September 20, 2001

CHICAGO (AP) _ A judge on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit filed by an Italian-American organization that accused the makers of the HBO television series ``The Sopranos″ of offending Italian-Americans by depicting them as mobsters.

Cook County Circuit Court Judge Richard A. Siebel threw out the lawsuit with prejudice, meaning it cannot be refiled in Circuit Court. An appeal of the decision is allowed, though.

The American Italian Defense Association sued Time Warner Entertainment Co. under the ``individual dignity″ clause of the Illinois Constitution.

The group didn’t want money or the cable show’s cancellation, but a declaration from a jury that the show offends the dignity of Italian-Americans, attorney Ted Grippo, who represented the association, had said.

Grippo on Wednesday said he will appeal the judge’s decision, but declined further comment.

Tom Yannucci, a lawyer representing Time Warner, had argued that viewers wouldn’t assume from watching the show that all Italian-Americans are mobsters or morally corrupt.

He was pleased with the decision to throw out the lawsuit.

``It shuts down the effort to try dramas and fictional matters in a courtroom,″ Yannucci said.

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