What are our rights if a photographer used our son’s photo in advertisement and contests without our consent?

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What are our rights if a photographer used our son’s photo in advertisement and contests without our consent?

She spoke with the childcare asking if she could send us a packet with permission to use his photo but she never got back with them and we were going to decline. On our son’s next picture day she gave the childcare an enlarged photo of our son to give to us and told them that she entered it in a contest with 500 participants and 1 first place. We were not aware of any of this. They also told us that she had his photo on Facebook. which we would have never allowed. When the picture package came we bought the photo CD with the copy writes. What can we do, if anything?

Asked on November 6, 2015 under Personal Injury, Missouri

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the photographer for invasion of privacy.  Invasion of privacy is the appropriation of one's name or likeness for commercial purposes without consent.
Damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in your son's lawsuit) would include emotional distress.  If a wrongful motive on the part of the photographer can be established, punitive damages (a substantial amount to punish the wrongful conduct) may be awarded.
You will need to be appointed guardian ad litem to file a lawsuit on behalf of your son because he is a minor.
Your son's lawsuit for invasion of privacy must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or your son will lose his rights forever in the matter.


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