New Mexico Woman Sues Company For Using 1970s High School Photo On Novelty Flask
A New Mexico woman is suing a company for using her high school photo without her permission, on a flask with a sarcastic slogan about substance abuse.
Veronica Vigil of Chimayó, New Mexico is suing a novelty company for selling a flask with her high school photo on it that reads, "I'm going to be the most popular girl in rehab!" Vigil found out her photo was on the flask after her daughter saw the item while vacationing in Florida. In the lawsuit against Anne Taintor Inc., Vigil claims the company took her 1970 high school photo and put it on various novelty items, including cards and magnets, and the items were sold throughout New Mexico and the United States in stores like Cost Plus.
In Vigil's criminal complaint, it explains how damaging the items can be to her reputation, especially since she doesn't drink or do drugs.
“Plaintiff is an active member of her church and does not consume alcohol or drugs. Given the seriousness of the issues of substance abuse in the community in which plaintiff resides, she has held herself out by reputation for her children and her community, to refrain from abuse or even use of alcohol and illicit drugs and has set an example that the issue is a very serious one that destroys families and lives.”
The lawsuit has been moved from the state District court to federal court, due to the fact that the company is no longer located in New Mexico. The owner, Anne Taintor, lived in Coyote, New Mexico for about ten years, before returning to her home state of Maine. Vigil's lawyer, Blair Dunn, believes if the suit was moved back to a local court, the jury would understand better how detrimental these items can be to her reputation in a small town. According to the complaint, the use of her photo on the flask has cause people to think Vigil, "either has a problem with drugs and alcohol personally, or she condones the use of her image to make light of an important social issue that affects her community." Because of this, she has been the victim of "scorn and contempt." The lawsuit is asking for an unspecified amount for damages.