Michelle M. Friedman
MILWAUKEE/MADISON/MINNEAPOLIS/WASHINGTON – On April 20, 2017 a substantial copyright judgement against Flora, Inc. a Washington-based distributor of health care products was awarded to Amy Sullivan, a graphic artist based in Wisconsin.
In a jury decision issued in the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin the jury awarded Sullivan $4,093,500 million in damages for copyright infringement and unjust enrichment. Sullivan’s attorneys at DeWitt Ross & Stevens were very pleased with the jury’s award, “It was wonderful to have the jury agree with Sullivan after Flora refused to even discuss or negotiate with her about her claims!” said Harry Van Camp of DeWitt.
At issue in the case was whether Flora, Inc., a business that hired Sullivan to create work for advertising use, had used Sullivan’s illustrations from previous videos without her consent in new, independent online promotional advertising.
Sullivan reserved all usage of her illustrations to herself with the exception of two English language promotional videos. After the initial use, Flora no longer had the permission of Sullivan to use the illustrations. That’s where the problems began; Flora, even after being notified continued to use Sullivan’s copyrighted illustrations and after presenting its case to the jury in Wisconsin, the jury agreed that Flora had damaged Sullivan economically through its copyright violation.
On behalf of Sullivan, the case was argued by attorneys Harry Van Camp and Elijah Van Camp with support from Susan George, Laura Davis, Julie Wilcox and Brian Rickey.