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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19169
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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I worked vendor company as a software developer 1 years. I

Customer Question

I worked for a vendor company as a software developer for over 1 years. I was fired and went to work another company. my old vendor put up an advertising sign in my town with my name on it without my consent, . . It also embarrassed me because there was a few people that knew I got fired and thought the company was doing this to mess me up. Now i'm sure their defense would be that it was an accident, but they had to pay to have these signs put up. I believe they should have made sure my name wasn't on one. My question is, would I have a case here? Could I sue for Right of Privacy: Appropriation of name or likeness law since they used my name for advertising purposes? Thanks very much for the help!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

If they kept the signs up, you'd have a case. That would allow you to sue for appropriation of your likeness. However, if they put them up and then took them down once they were notified, you'd really have a difficult time to trying to make a case out of that, because you'd have to establish damages.

If they took them down, there are no sustained damages and it would be difficult to show that they are gaining/profiting by using your likeness.

On the issue of people knowing you were terminated, that doesn't really bring anything to this equation because it's not any sort of defamation. Defamation requires that a false statement of fact is presented which causes you harm.

Yes, they made a legal error, but if they took the signs down, it wouldn't be worth your financial expense or time to try and sue, because your return would be less than the cost of the claim.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I got a call from my friends that they are looking for this opportunity. and asking about what happen ? in the vendor company given advantagement like my name with backfill position
My question is why they used my name in adv. I know they did it in mistake, if I notify them, they will remove . But it already effected me. My friends know I was fired.
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Knowing you were fired doesn't do anything to this claim. Public embarrassment isn't actually illegal, if the embarrassing fact is true. So, the fact that people knew you were fired and this was embarrassing simply is not a basis for a claim.

If you have lost some opportunities because of this sign, then yes you can sue them, but it's your legal obligation to prove those damages. For a claim to be a financially successful claim, you have the burden of proving substantial loss due to this issue. Furthermore, if you never took the steps to try and mitigate your damages, by contacting them and telling them to remove it, that could actually get your claim thrown out of court.

You must take the first step of contacting the company to tell them to remove it. If they choose not to remove it, then it might be worth seeking an injunction to have them remove it. The court could also issue a small award to you and pay your attorney's fees.

However, this is just not the sort of situation that lends itself to a lucrative lawsuit. Yes, you have a technical lawsuit here (after you ask them to take it down and they don't), but there is the financial reality that you have to keep in mind. Not all legal claims are worth filing, because the cost outstrips the potential return.

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