Avril Nolan Used in HIV ad Awarded $125,000 in Damages


Avril Nolan Used in HIV ad Awarded $125,000 in Damages.

A woman whose picture was used in an HIV ad campaign without her knowledge has been awarded $125,000 in damages. Avril Nolan, who does not have HIV, was left “devastated” when a friend sent her the newspaper advert showing her face with the slogan: “I AM POSITIVE.” Justice Thomas Scuccimarra said in his ruling: “Ms. Nolan was not HIV positive, and no disclaimer to the effect that the person depicted as a model appears in the advertisement. Ms. Nolan did not give permission for the use of her photograph, taken in an entirely different context, and apparently thereafter sold.” Nolan had posed for the photo for a “street-style” magazine piece about her taste in music—but the picture was later sold to a photo agency that licensed it for the Division of Human Rights ad. When she contacted the campaign group through the photographer, the group said it wouldn’t remove the image until she confirmed she wouldn’t hold it liable for the use of her image. Nolan asked for $1 million in damages, but the judge found $125,000 would be “reasonable compensation.”

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