EA files notice of removal in video game likeness suit

By Kyla Asbury | Mar 10, 2011

CHARLESTON – Electronic Arts is seeking a removal to federal court in a lawsuit involving a Davis man claiming the company used his likeness in its video game "Medal of Honor."

Electronic Arts filed the notice of removal to federal court on Jan. 11.

Erik Curran, a soldier in the West Virginia Army National Guard, filed the lawsuit in Kanawha Circuit Court on Dec. 13, 2010.

In October 2010, Electronic Arts began selling a video game, which Curran claims displayed his image on the box, disc and as a playable character in the game. Curran claims Electronic Arts used his image to market the video game prior to the release of the game.

Electronic Arts' "misappropriation of Mr. Curran's likeness, image and photograph without Mr. Curran's consent for the promotion of the subject was done by EA for EA's intended financial gain," according to the suit.

Electronic Arts filed the notice of removal to federal court because of the diversity of citizenship that exists between it and Curran. Electronic Arts has its principal place of business in California.

The company also claims it did not use Curran's likeness in "Medal of Honor," and in fact had retained a model named Jesse Holland specifically for the purpose of cover art.

Brian Christensen, of Los Angeles, Calif., is the Creative Director of Video Games at Ignition Print. Christensen claims Electronic Arts hired Ignition Print to create a cover image for the video game package, print advertising and outdoor advertising campaign for "Medal of Honor."

"I, along with Ignition Print's Photo Department, found and hired the model, Jesse Holland, to pose for the Medal of Honor soldier image," according to Christensen's affidavit.

Curran is seeking compensatory and punitive damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. He is being represented by Marvin Masters and Charles M. Love IV. EA is being represented by David Allen Barnette and Vivian H. Basdekis.

U.S. District Court case number: 2:11-cv-00022

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