ADVERTISER - LIBEL
An infomercial produced for a national medical association claimed that certain products, which were in widespread use among the general public, caused physical harm. The claim rose from a videotaped infomercial produced by the medical group. The plaintiff claimed that the video focused on its product, thereby causing disparagement of its product. The suit was for false advertising, commercial disparagement, unfair competition, deceptive acts and practices, and injury to business reputation. The case was settled. Legal fees constituted approximately one-third of the total cost of the case, and were substantial.
A national advertiser was sued for libel arising from the content of a promotional item in its newsletter distributed to retailers across the country to the effect that certain well known retailers had expressed their preference for the insured's product rather than the plaintiff's. The two companies, which were fierce competitors, eventually agreed to a walk-away settlement, but only after sizable legal fees were incurred.
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ADVERTISER - MISAPPROPRIATION OF LIKENESS
A former sports figure sued an advertiser for a print advertisement for an alcoholic beverage. The advertisement reproduced the musings of a hypothetical spectator about colorful features of baseball. An illustration in the ad depicted two baseball players. The plaintiff asserted that he was one of the players depicted in the illustration and that his picture was wrongfully used to promote the sale of alcoholic beverages. Although summary judgment was eventually granted to the advertiser and its client against the plaintiff, by that time legal fees incurred were considerable.
Plaintiff claimed that a magazine advertisement in various regional magazines and newspapers constituted a misappropriation of name and likeness and an invasion of privacy. The plaintiff, a well known sports figure, stated that the photograph, as used, could be construed to be an endorsement of the advertiser's product. The case was eventually settled for an above average amount. Legal fees to defend the case were approximately one third of the total loss.
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ADVERTISER - FALSE LIGHT
A manufacturer of contact lens cleaning solutions was sued by a competitor which alleged that the insured had, by its comparative advertising, cast the plaintiff in a false light as to the relative merits of plaintiff's product. Requests for injunctive relief were filed and legal fees escalated very quickly. The case was settled relatively quickly by an agreement to cease running the ads in question. Legal fees to defend the case were high in this dispute among competitors.
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ADVERTISER- COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT
A sporting goods manufacturer was sued for copyright infringement due to its use of a musical composition in a television commercial, which the plaintiff alleged was his copyrighted composition. The case was eventually settled with legal fees making up three quarters of the total amount expended.
A national consumer products company was sued for copyright infringement for alleged reproduction of copyrighted musical compositions on video cassettes it sold. While the case was successfully defended, legal fees were great.
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*These claims are examples of those encountered in the types of businesses insured under AXIS PRO's Media Liability Plus Program.
Some are claims we've handled; in others, we were not directly involved. Coverage for these claims is not to be inferred from this list but must always be determined in reference to a particular insurance policy, which is the controlling document, as well as the facts and circumstances of each claim and applicable law.