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Chargers safety Eric Weddle Sues Bayer and Athlon Sports

Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post reports Chargers safety Eric Weddle has filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Bayer AG, Bayer USA and Athlon Sports, according to his agent, David Canter.

The lawsuit stems from Weddle’s image when he was attending the University of Utah being utilized on Alka Seltzer boxes and promotional materials

Canter announced the lawsuit last night through his Twitter account and issued the following press release:

“On April 19, 2011 our client Eric Weddle filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Bayer AG, Bayer USA, and Athlon Sports for federal statutory misappropriation of image, California statutory misappropriation of image, common law misappropriation of image, conspiracy to misappropriate, unauthorized commercial use of likeness, unfair competition under the Lanham Act, false advertising, and civil action under California’s preservation and regulation of competition.”

“At the time we were notified that Eric’s image was illegally used on a joint national campaign between Bayer and Athlon Sports on Alka-Seltzer boxes, our general counsel sent a demand letter to the named parties to remove all items from stores. Part of this national marketing campaign was to place an image of our client Eric Weddle from when he was an All-American football player at the University of Utah on Bayer’s Alka-Seltzer antacid boxes.”

“These boxes appeared throughout the United States at various Wal-Mart’s, Walgreens, CVS’s, supermarkets, and local pharmacies. Additionally, the defendants used this same image of Eric to advertise and promote Athlon Sports’ college football preview magazine. Though this campaign never identified Eric throughout any advertisements, it was clear from the photo in question, that the image used was of Weddle, bearing the number 32 worn during his collegiate playing days at Utah. It is the same jersey number that Eric has worn for his entire NFL playing career.”

“At no time were Bayer AG, Bayer USA, nor Athlon Sports authorized to use this image for commercial purposes. Eventually Eric was left with no other recourse but to file this complaint in the Southern District of California.”

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