Fort Wayne, Indiana – Apparently, Amanda Cerny, Arianny Celeste Lopez, Abigail Ratchford, Alana Marie Souza, Tiffany Toth Gray, and Katarina Van Derham (collectively the “Plaintiffs”), are all professional models. Plaintiffs claim Defendants, B&B Operations, LLC, B&K Property Holdings LLC, and B&B Property Holdings, LLC, collectively doing business as Club 44 have used the Plaintiffs’ images to promote their strip club business. According to the Complaint, Club 44 has used the Plaintiffs’ images on its social media sites to advertise its business.
Plaintiffs claim that Club 44 used their images without consent, authorization, or payment. Further, even if Club 44 had offered to pay the Plaintiffs for the use of their images, Plaintiffs claim they would have refused to avoid harming their reputations and brands. According to the Complaint, by using Plaintiffs’ images on their social media accounts, “Defendants convey and reasonably suggest, falsely and fraudulently, that Plaintiffs endorse the Club, are affiliated with the Club, participated in the Club, sponsor the Club, or agreed to advertise for the Club.”
Plaintiffs are seeking damages for violations of the Lanham Act including false endorsement, unfair competition, and false advertising. Further, Plaintiffs claim their right of publicity pursuant to Ind. Code § 32-36-1-0.2 et seq., was violated. Finally, Plaintiffs assert Club 44 was unjustly enriched by the use of Plaintiffs’ images.
At last three of the Plaintiffs, Ratchford, Souza, and Toth Gray are involved in other similar suits that were recently filed in Indiana.
The case was assigned to District Judge Holly A. Brady and Magistrate Judge Susan L. Collins in the Northern District and assigned Case 1:20-cv-00401-HAB-SLC.