Niles Army veteran suing Walmart, Amazon for using his image without consent
NILES - From fighting for his country to waging a war against corporate America, a Niles veteran says he has been re-traumatized by Amazon and Walmart after the companies sold his image for profit.
A few months ago, Army veteran Nicholas Giovannelli noticed something stunning. His image popped up on posters, being sold in a big box store and online.
"To come home and learn, a couple of months ago that Amazon, Walmart and other corporate defendants had misappropriated his image and were exploiting his image for their financial gain," said Giovannelli’s attorney Craig D. Tobin. "One of the photographs even has his name underneath it, which raises other security issues according to the United States Army."
Giovanelli is a Purple Heart recipient, medically retired from the Army after several tours of duty. He suffers from traumatic brain injury and PTSD.
"Someone who has sustained pretty substantial injuries on behalf of his country can be seriously harmed both actually and mentally by having to see images he never consented to, to be sold publically online," Tobin said.
An Army photographer took the images of Giovanelli. The Army did not consent to their sale.
"We want to make sure that the exploitation of these soldiers stops and if there are profits…that those are given to the rightful owners of those images," Tobin said.
The suit seeks damages in excess of $1 million.
Walmart says it has not yet seen the complaint, but will respond once it does. FOX 32 has not heard back from Amazon.