CHARLES TOWN - A former Jefferson County photographer is being sued for $1.5 million by a family who claims she used their images without their consent.
Eleven people, including seven children filed the suit against Sheri Grippo-Titus. The suit was filed June 12 in Jefferson Circuit Court.
Justin Humphreys, of Ft. Wayne, Ind., and Casey Bagent and Molly Aguilar of Jefferson County, and their children, are the plaintiffs. Humphreys, Bagent and Aguilar are siblings, and the children in the suit are all first cousins.
Grippo-Titus operated a photography business in Charles Town, known as Bella Bambino Photography. She has since moved to Cape Girardeau, Mo.
According to the suit, Grippo-Titus put at least 74 pictures of Humphreys and his family on her Web site without obtaining a model release from anyone.
"In the professional photography business it is usual and customary to obtain a signed form called a Model Release Form prior to the commercial use of a person's photograph," the suit says.
The plaintiffs' claims that in April 2008, they learned that Grippo-Titus was guilty of serious and deceitful acts toward their family for at least 18 months, the suit says.
According to the suit, on May 19, counsel for the family sent an e-mail to Grippo-Titus, requesting that the photos be removed from the Web Site, because they invaded the family's rights to privacy. However, the photos were not removed.
Aguilar claims she did substantial work for Grippo-Titus and should have been paid $11,400 for her work. Because she was not paid for her work, Aguilar refused to return a camera that belonged to Bella Bambino Photography as well as certain pictures that had been taken.
Grippo-Titus claims she fired Aguilar, claiming she stole the camera, pictures and other equipment. Aguilar has since established her own photography business, Piccadilly Post Photography.
Aguilar, Humphreys, Bagent and their children claim Grippo-Titus violated their right to privacy, which caused them severe and substantial injuries.
They seek $500,000 in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages.
Attorney David J. Humphreys is representing the family.