Lodging the suit claiming the image constitutes child pornography, Spencer Elden named former bandmembers Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic in the suit as well as frontman Kurt Cobain's widow Courtney Love and photographer Kirk Weddle.
However, U.S. District Judge Fernando Olguin dismissed the lawsuit in Los Angeles on Friday (02.09.22) stating Elden - who is now 30 - waited too long to sue and was outside the 10 years statute of limitations.
Elden was four months old when he was photographed naked in a swimming pool reaching out for a dollar bill for the group's iconic 1990 record.
The man previously claimed he had met the statute of limitations because he suffered emotional distress and "loss of enjoyment of life" as an adult.
The legal battle has been going on since August 2021 and also targeted record labels Geffen and Universal Music. It was the third complaint filed by Elden, but the dismissal on Friday has now barred him from filing a revised fourth version.
Nirvana's lawyers previously said of the suit, "Elden's claim that the photograph on the Nevermind album cover is 'child pornography' is, on its face, not serious." They said that anyone owning a copy of the record would "on Elden's theory [be] guilty of felony possession of child pornography."
They continued, "He has re-enacted the photograph in exchange for a fee, many times; he has had the album title... tattooed across his chest; he has appeared on a talk show wearing a self-parodying, nude-colored onesie; he has autographed copies of the album cover for sale on eBay; and he has used the connection to try to pick up women."