Nirvana has officially won its “Nevermind” album cover baby lawsuit after a federal judge dismissed the case for the final time on Friday, according to reports.
Judge Fernando M. Olguin wrote in an eight-page ruling that since plaintiff Spencer Elden filed the case after knowing about the coverage for more than 10 years, his filing had passed the statute of limitations, officially rejecting the case in favor of Nirvana. .
The ruling ends a year-long case brought by Spencer Elden, who was photographed for the album cover as a baby. In August 2021, Elden filed a complaint against the claim that the image was child pornography and that as a child he could not consent to his image being used.
The now iconic cover depicts four-month-old Elden submerged in a swimming pool, with a dollar bill on the end of a hook floating above him. Photographer Kirk Weddle, who took the photo, reportedly gave Elden’s parents $200 for taking the picture which eventually landed on the cover of ‘Nevermind,’ which has sold over 30 million copies since its release in 1991.
His lawsuit named Weddle, all surviving members of Nirvana and the estate of singer Kurt Cobain, Cobain’s widow Courtney Love, band artistic director Robert Fisher, Heather Parry and producer Guy Oseary as well as UMG, Warner Records and Geffen Records by David Geffen. He initially sought $150,000 from each named defendant along with an undetermined amount of punitive damages.
On December 22, 2021, the representatives of the accused filed a motion to dismiss the case, noting that the statute of limitations had passed and challenging the claim that the image is in any way sexually exploitative. After the filing, a judge gave Elden until December 30, 2021 to file an objection to the motion to dismiss — a deadline Elden missed.
In January 2022, a federal judge in the Central District of California dismissed the lawsuit “with leave to amend”, giving Elden until January 13 to file a second amended complaint. However, according to the New York Times, lawyers for Elden lack the deadline.