Have Legal Questions? Ask a Lawyer Now.
Dear Customer, thank you for using our service. My name is Bill and I would like to assist you today.
Assuming that HIPPA and other medical confidentiality laws are not at issue, the one legal claim that you may be facing is the tort of "right of publicity" where an individual (or his estate) has a right to financially benefit on their own work, and the use or reproduction of materials made without their permission but "trading on" their name or success is improper. This tort usually involves things such as making t-shirts with a famous person's photo, or using a famous person's signature saying for personal profit. This is a relatively new tort and some of the elements are still being developed, but that is the biggest issue I see to prevent publication as you have stated it.
I hope the above is helpful, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to let me know and I will follow up quickly.
Thank you for using our service, please do not forget to rate my answer when you are satisfied. I am going to transfer our conversation to the "Q&A" format to ensure you can review the entire response and that I can follow up to any questions you may have quickly. I do wish you the best of luck in this matter.
(As far as proving ownership - you will need to establish a "chain of title" showing that the documents were the property of the hospital (and not the patient), that they were intentionally discarded by the hospital, and that you are a "bona fide purchaser" meaning you gave something of value for the photos - here is a link that may be helpful to you in starting to track the chain of title with regard to ownership of medical records: http://www.mbc.ca.gov/consumer/complaint_info_questions_records.html#12)
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).