Judge Tosses Suit Over Film Ratings For Smoking Scenes

Law360, New York (November 14, 2016, 1:25 PM EST) -- A California federal judge on Thursday tossed a proposed class action against the Motion Picture Association of America Inc., six Hollywood studios and a theater trade group alleging that age restrictions for movie ratings mislead parents because they don't consider on-screen cigarette smoking, holding that the ratings constitute protected speech.

The groups and studios had moved to strike the complaint under California's anti-Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation statute, and U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg obliged, leaving the door open for plaintiff Timothy Forsyth to fix the issues with his claims but saying "the possibility of curing the defects identified in this...

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