Woman Sues Yahoo for $20M over Email Message

Dennis Faas's picture

Yahoo was recently slapped with a $20 million dollar lawsuit from an Ohio woman claiming that the Yahoo.com portal used her photo without permission in a welcome email sent to its new users.

Shannon Stovall filed the lawsuit late February at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. Stovall said she discovered the her photo was being used when she signed up for Yahoo's email service in October 2006. (Source: news.com)

The email begins with the headline "Hooray! Your first email" and includes a photo of two women, one of which is allegedly Stovall. According to the complaint, the email was sent to millions of users across the world.

Since Stovall did not give her authorization for the use of the image, she claims that Yahoo has violated her right to privacy and her right to publicity. (Source: news.com)

Of the $20 million that the suit requests, $10 million is for Stovall to recoup profits stemming from the use of her image, and the other $10 million is for legal fees. (Source: hardocp.com)

Stovall has hired three law firms to represent her in the case. (Source: googlewatch.com)

Mitchell Yelsky, one of Stovall's attorneys, said that his client "has previously modeled and worked for modeling agencies." Yelsky apparently sent two letters to Yahoo last November requesting the company to stop using Stovall's image in the email. (Source: news.com)

On the other front, spokespeople have remained tight-lipped. Last Friday, a Yahoo representative said that the company is not allowed to comment on "specifics related to legal cases." (Source: news.com)

The lawsuit is reminiscent of a similar lawsuit filed late last year. Tom Brady, quarterback for the New England Patriots, had filed a suit against Yahoo when the company used his picture to promote its fantasy sports service. (Source: techdirt.com)

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