London Borough to Pay Damages to Girl After Using Her Picture in AIDS Campaign Without Permission
A 10-year-old London girl will receive 5,000 pounds (US$7,238) in compensation because a local HIV/AIDS campaign used her picture without permission on an HIV/AIDS brochure, leading her and others to mistakenly believe she had HIV, the London Independent reports. The girl, Jacklyn Adeniji, who has spinal muscular atrophy and sickle cell anemia, was photographed between 1993 and 1995 while attending Shrewsbury Day Nursery, which is run by the council of the London Borough of Newham. In July 2000, her parents saw her picture "plastered" on the front of a Newham borough brochure titled "Strategy for children and young people who are affected or infected by HIV/AIDS." The brochure outlined Newham's AIDS awareness campaign, focusing on children who have been affected by or infected with HIV. John Critchley, the lawyer for the girl's parents, said the pictures were taken without the parents' permission, stored without their knowledge and used without their consent. When they became aware of the pictures, the parents wrote a letter to the Newham council, which said it would "discontinue use of the brochures" because they "would be out of date" by the end of 2000. However, the family found that the material was still available in January 2001 and filed suit against the borough. The girl's parents said that the "most distressing" part of the episode was "having to explain to Jacklyn that she did not have AIDS." They added that Jacklyn was "shunned" by her friends after they saw her face on the brochure. The lawsuit filed against the Newham council charged breach of confidence and cited the 1998 Human Rights Act. The suit, which has been described as "groundbreaking," was the first of its kind to come to trial. In addition to the 5,000 pound award, the Newham council will pay an estimated 50,000 pounds (US$72,385) in court fees (Verkaik, Independent, 10/17).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.