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20-year-old Jefferson Airplane suit thrown out of court

SAN FRANCISCO -- After more than two decades, a $2 million lawuit between the Jefferson Airplane and a former manager has been tossed out of court.

Superior Court Judge Ollie Marie-Victore dismissed the lawsuit Monday by former manager Matthew Katz, which has prevented members of the Airplane, now reorganized as the Jefferson Starship, from receiving $2 million in record royalties and has generated many thousands of dollars in court costs and attorney fees.

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Katz maintained he was entitled to royalties from the San Francsco-based group's first two albums, 'Jefferson Airplane Takes Off' and 'Surrealistic Pillow.'

Attorney John Heilman, who represented Katz, said that the decision was 'an abuse of discretion,' adding that his client will probably appeal. Katz managed the Airplane group in 1965 and 1966.

'This is a big day in my life,' said Robert Gordon, one of several attorneys for the former Airplane members.

The case was set for trial July 6, but RCA and Airplane asked that it be dismissed beecause it was so old. In granting their motion, Marie-Victoire said it would 'unreasonable, unfair and almost impossible' for witnesses to recall events that occurred 21 years ago.

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