Vectrus, Inc. Loses Motion to Dismiss in Soldiers’ Likeness Case

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Plaintiffs, represented by Digital Business Law Group, P.A., believe that additional soldiers may have case(s) against Vectrus, Inc.

Wayne Stanley & Marcel Hawkins

Plaintiffs are aware of other alleged wrongful uses of soldiers’ photos by Vectrus. If you believe your image was wrongfully used, you can contact Plaintiffs Stanley and Hawkins through counsel...

Vectrus, Inc. (“Vectrus”), a Department of Defense (“DOD”) services contractor, recently lost a motion to dismiss against one of two soldiers whose image and likeness was allegedly wrongfully used under Florida Statute §540.08 (“Likeness Statute”). See civil case number 3:16-cv-01186-BJD-PDB, Middle District of Florida, document number 46.

The Likeness Statute includes a section that was added in 2007 entitled the Robert A. Wise Military Protection Act (“MPA”). Under the MPA, a court may impose civil penalties of up to $1,000 per violation, in addition to other civil remedies, for each commercial transaction where an image was wrongfully used.

Robert A. Wise was killed in action in Iraq in 2003. He later became the first Florida National Guard soldier to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Wise’s image was displayed posthumously on tee-shirts by anti-war protesters without the consent of his family. According to Court Documents, Vectrus admitted using the soldier's images in a photo (“Photo”) as part of an “Investor Presentation” included in one of its 2014 SEC filings and at its 2014 Shareholders’ meeting.

According to court documents, the SEC filing was potentially distributed to thousands of prospective Vectrus investors via an Internet download. Vectrus Systems Corporation (“VSC”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Vectrus, also allegedly used the Photo on various social media sites (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google Plus). Plaintiffs maintain that these alleged usages of the Photo by VSC are all usages by Vectrus, because most, if not all, are branded with Vectrus’ registered trademark (“Vectrus”), U.S. Patent and Trademark Office registration number 5091540.

Plaintiffs Wayne Stanley and Marcel Hawkins, both having served 20 years in the military, never gave Vectrus, or any other person or entity, the right to use the Photo. In fact, it’s a DOD violation for soldiers to engage in a commercial endorsement of a non-federal person or entity. See DOD Joint Ethics Regulation 5500-7R, s. 3-209. Plaintiffs are aware of other alleged wrongful uses of soldiers’ images by Vectrus. If you believe your image was wrongfully used, you can contact Plaintiffs Stanley and Hawkins through counsel, Digital Business Law Group, P.A. ("DBLG"). DBLG is the law firm that represents both Plaintiffs in this case.

About Digital Business Law Group, P.A.

DBLG focuses on Internet Law. It helps clients transact business safely online, and helps clients protect their intellectual property rights when others wrongfully tread upon them. DBLG’s website can be found at http://www.digitalbusinesslawgroup.com. Phone: (800) 516-7903 Fax: (800) 257-9128

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Carlos A. Leyva. Esq.
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