On Wednesday, the Central District of California denied default judgment in the case involving famous actor and film director Clint Eastwood, who is suing Sera Labs Inc. for using his name to promote their CBD products.
The lawsuit was originally filed back in February 2021 and alleges that the defendant used Eastwood’s name in an article titled “Big Pharma In Outrage Over Clint Eastwood’s CBD: [Name of CBD Product] – He Fires Back With This!”. The article also displays photos of Eastwood and references a fabricated interview with Eastwood in which he touts the line of CBD products.
The plaintiff seeks monetary damages for their claims of misappropriation, emotional distress, defamation, and false light.
This most recent case update reveals that all of Eastwood’s claims for monetary reparation have been shot down by the court, which claims that he has not provided sufficient evidence to support his requests and would struggle to do so in the future considering that the defendant has failed to respond to the complaint.
In regards to misappropriation claims, the court said that Eastwood’s sole submission of evidence, the amount he was paid for a Super Bowl ad in 2008, was not sufficient enough evidence to meet the level of proof required for this charge. The court added that the plaintiff failed to explain how the value of his TV ad translates to his value in a written advertisement.
As for his alleged mental distress and damaged reputation, the court again found that he had very little evidence to substantiate his claims besides the fact that he was “outraged” upon seeing the article and that some people reached out to him after to inquire about the ad.
Lastly, his request for punitive damages was rejected. In order to receive punitive damages, the defendant must prove that the defendant is guilty of oppression, fraud, or malice. The court said that just the ad by itself was not enough to substantiate their request. Furthermore, evidence of the defendant’s financial status is a prerequisite for punitive damages and since the defendant has failed to address these charges, the plaintiff has no way of knowing their financial status.
In general, the court thought that the amount requested exceeds the level necessary to properly punish the defendant and has provided no strong evidence to dispute this.