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Parents to sue tech firms for child murders

The parents of three high-school students who were murdered at school in Kentucky are claiming the entertainment industry and media violence inspired the killer to murder their children. The parents will file a $130m (£79m) lawsuit in US District Court on Monday against several game companies, two Internet porn sites, and the makers and distributors behind the Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Basketball Dairies.
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Written by Micheal Mullen on

The parents of three high-school students who were murdered at school in Kentucky are claiming the entertainment industry and media violence inspired the killer to murder their children. The parents will file a $130m (£79m) lawsuit in US District Court on Monday against several game companies, two Internet porn sites, and the makers and distributors behind the Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Basketball Dairies. "We intend to hurt Hollywood. We intend to hurt the video game industry," said lawyer Jack Thompson. "We intend to hurt sex porn sites," he added.

Confessed shooter, Michael Carneal -- a 14-year-old student -- was a fan of games like Doom, Quake, and Mortal Kombat, and an avid computer user. On Dec. 1, 1997, he walked into Heath High School, where he killed Jessica James, Kayce Steger, and Nicole Hadley and wounded five other students in a shooting spree. Carneal is serving life in prison without eligibility for parole for at least 25 years.

Sabrina Steger, mother of one of the victims, said, "We believe the Heath shooter was influenced by the movies he watched, the computer games he played, and the Internet sites he visited.''

Game makers mentioned in the suit include Nintendo, Sega, and Sony. This is the group's second attempt at a suit. The first, filed in December 1998, charged Carneal's parents, school administrators, teachers, and even students for being responsible for the shooting spree. The case was dismissed.

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