An employee is suing Hucks for allegedly using her photograph on commercial advertisements without consent.
Heather Shade filed the complaint on March 24 in the St. Clair County Circuit Court against Martin & Bayley, Inc., doing business as Hucks Food & Fuel, Hucks Convenience Stores and Hucks Travel Center.
According to the complaint, Shade claims that Hucks obtained a photograph of her while working at the Hucks in Swansea performing her ordinary job function.
On April 2, 2016, she alleges the defendant published the photograph on advertisement materials that were disseminated to Hucks’ 150 different locations in five states, including Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Shade alleges her photo was included on flyers, yard signs, posters, gas pumps, store windows and store restrooms throughout the Midwest.
The plaintiff says she has a right to privacy and at no time did she authorize or consent to the use of her photograph in any of the advertisements.
She alleges the defendant’s use of her photograph for its own commercial benefit is “offensive, objectionable and intruded upon Plaintiff’s right to privacy.”
As a result, she claims she sustained mental anguish, emotional distress, humiliation, ridicule and the loss of admiration and respect of those who know her.
She seeks compensation of more than $50,000, punitive damages, attorney’s fees, costs and all other relief the court deems just.
Shade is represented by John Hipskind and Brady McAninch of Hipskind & McAninch LLC in Belleville.
St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 17-L-150