Nui Capital Corp. – Invasion of Privacy, Violation of Section 540.08, Florida Statutes.

Nui Capital Corp. – Invasion of Privacy, Violation of Section 540.08, Florida Statutes.

Nui Capital Corp caseIN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE
EIGHTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
IN AND FOR BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA

TOD SMITH

PLAINTIFF, CASE NO.

V.

NUI CAPITAL CORP.
d/b/a NUI CITY GAS COMPANY OF FLORIDA

DEFENDANT.

___________________________/

COMPLAINT AND DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL

Plaintiff, TOD SMITH, by and through his undersigned attorney, sues Defendant, NUI CAPITAL CORP. d/b/a NUI City Gas Company of Florida, and alleges the following:
1. This is an action for damages in excess of Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000.00).
2. The unlawful practices alleged below were committed within Brevard County, Florida.
3. Defendant, NUI CAPITAL CORP. d/b/a NUI City Gas Company of Florida is a public utility company, doing business in Brevard County, Florida and is a Florida corporation.
4. Plaintiff was employed by Defendant, NUI CAPITAL CORP. d/b/a/ NUI City Gas Company of Florida, from May 1997 through May 8, 2000.
5. During the course of Plaintiff’s employment with Defendant, Defendant caused to have a picture of Plaintiff taken which Defendant has used for trade, commercial and advertising purposes for its economic benefit by publishing Plaintiff’s photograph in its company publications, including NUI Energy News, an example of which is attached hereto as Exhibit A.
6. Defendant failed to obtain the consent of Plaintiff, either verbal or written, to utilize Plaintiff’s photograph for trade, commercial or advertising purposes.
7. Defendant published Plaintiff’s photograph on at least four separate occasions in four separate publications.
8. Defendant published Plaintiff’s photograph in at least two publications after Plaintiff’s employment with Defendant ended on May 8, 2000.
9. Plaintiff has complied with all conditions precedent prior to bringing this action.
COUNT I
VIOLATION OF SECTION 540.08, FLORIDA STATUTES
10. Plaintiff incorporates and realleges Paragraphs 1 through 9 as if fully set forth herein.
11. This action is brought to obtain relief for the unauthorized publication by Defendant of Plaintiff’s photograph for the purposes of trade, commercial and advertising purposes by publishing Plaintiff’s picture in business materials distributed by Defendant to its customers, a copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit A.
12. The actions of Defendant described herein violate Section 540.08, Florida Statutes.
13. Plaintiff has been injured because Plaintiff has had his photograph exposed and distributed to the public without his consent, Plaintiff has been subjected to unwanted inquisitive notice by the general public to the injury of Plaintiff’s personality and self-respect, the disturbance of Plaintiff’s peace of mind and privacy and Plaintiff has been made conspicuous and identified to the public and has suffered great mental pain.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff demands judgment against Defendant, including punitive damages.
COUNT II
INVASION OF PRIVACY
14. Plaintiff incorporates and realleges Paragraphs 1 through 9 as if fully set forth herein.
15. This is an action for invasion of Plaintiff’s privacy by Defendant.
16. At all times material to this action Plaintiff lived a quiet and private life, free from the curiosity that accompanies fame and notoriety and from the interest of the great mass of people in those whose conduct or behavior attracts general public interest. Plaintiff shunned notoriety and publicity, held and holds as precious the privacy of Plaintiff’s personal life and of Plaintiff’s acts and speech in all social relations. Plaintiff never exhibited or sought to exploit Plaintiff’s name or personality for money, profit or commercial gain.
17. Defendant on a number of occasions published a photograph of Plaintiff that Plaintiff can recognize and that friends and acquaintances of Plaintiff can recognize as identifying Plaintiff, a copy of the publication being attached.
18. The publication was distributed to residents of Florida and Brevard County, and to the public generally by Defendant and was widely viewed by the public in Florida and the United States. The publication of Plaintiff’s photograph was viewed by the Plaintiff and by friends and acquaintances of Plaintiff.
19. The publication was without the foreknowledge, consent and acquiescence of Plaintiff.
20. Plaintiff has been injured because Plaintiff’ has had his photograph exposed and distributed to the public without his consent, Plaintiff has been subjected to unwanted inquisitive notice by the general public to the injury of Plaintiff’s personality and self-respect, the disturbance of Plaintiff’s peace of mind and privacy and Plaintiff has been made conspicuous and identified to the public and has suffered great mental pain.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff demands judgment against Defendant.
DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL
Plaintiff demands a jury trial on all issues herein triable by jury.

Dated this ____ day of _________________________, 2003

______________________________
Wayne L. Allen, Esquire
Florida Bar No. 110025
Adrienne E. Trent, Esquire
Florida Bar No. 0060119
WAYNE L. ALLEN & ASSOCIATES, P.A.
Attorneys for Plaintiff
700 N. Wickham Road, Suite 107
Melbourne, Florida 32935
PHONE: (321) 254-7550
Fax: (321) 242-1681

Attorney: Maurice Arcadier
Status: Closed
Date Filed: 06/19/03

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