Michigan high court won't hear appeal in Jenny Jones Show case

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

LANSING, Mich. -- The Michigan Supreme Court won't hear the appeal of a lower court decision that threw out a $29.3 million award against the "Jenny Jones Show" following the murder of a guest.

The lawsuit stemmed from the 1995 death of Scott Amedure, who was shot to death by Jonathan Schmitz three days after Amedure revealed an attraction to Schmitz during a taping of the show in Chicago. The show never aired.

Amedure's family sued the show, contending Schmitz was ambushed and tricked into believing his secret admirer was a woman.

Schmitz is now serving a 25- to 50-year prison sentence for second-degree murder.

In October, the state Court of Appeals reversed the 1999 decision of a jury that found the show's owner, Warner Bros., and its distributor, Telepictures Productions, liable for Amedure's death.

The show "may be regarded as the epitome of bad taste and sensationalism," the appeals court said, but that wasn't enough to hold it liable for Amedure's death. It said the show had no way of predicting Schmitz's actions.

In a 5-2 decision released Tuesday, the state Supreme Court denied the application for appeal made by Amedure's family. Justices in the majority said they denied the application because they weren't persuaded that the questions presented should be reviewed by the state's highest court.

A spokeswoman for Warner Bros. said the company expected the state Supreme Court to reject the appeal.

"We are extremely gratified that it has done so and that finally this case is over," said Barbara Brogliatti of Warner Bros. corporate communications.

A message left with Geoffrey Fieger, who represented the Amedure family in the civil lawsuit, wasn't returned Tuesday.

Fieger had said that he didn't expect the court to reverse the appeals court's decision.


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