Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Lancaster v. Ocala Hospitality Group, LLC

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Ocala Division

June 13, 2017

AMBER LANCASTER, DESSIE MITCHESON, LINA POSADA, SARA UNDERWOOD, URSULA MAYES, RACHEL BERNSTEIN KOREN, SANDRA VALENCIA, ALANA CAMPOS, CIELO JEAN GIBSON and MARKETA KAZDOVA, Plaintiffs,
v.
OCALA HOSPITALITY GROUP, LLC, Defendant.

          ORDER

          JAMES S. MOODY. JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiffs sued Defendant alleging it used Plaintiffs' images without permission to promote bars and nightclubs Defendant operates. Defendant defaulted, and the Court held an evidentiary hearing on damages. After concluding Plaintiffs proved damages on one of their claims, the Court entered a default judgment against Defendant. The Court also told Plaintiffs they could file a separate motion for attorneys' fees and costs in which they would need to show both entitlement and the amount claimed. While Plaintiffs showed they are entitled to recover some costs, Plaintiffs failed to show they are entitled to attorneys' fees.

         BACKGROUND

         Defendant, Ocala Hospital Group, LLC, operates Cowboys Saloon and The Colosseum out of the same address in Ocala, Florida. Cowboys Saloon is a country bar, and The Colosseum is a nightclub. The websites and social media pages for Cowboys Saloon and The Colosseum cross-promote the venues with various specials. The promotional advertisements featured pictures of women, listed themes (e.g. “College Night and Beer Pong, ” “Sexy School Girls Party, ” “80s Party, ” etc.), and included drink specials. It is these promotional advertisements that are the subject of this case.

         The 10 Plaintiffs are models whose images were used in these promotional advertisements without permission. All Plaintiffs make their living as models and enjoy a not-insignificant level of national and international success in their field. Despite their varied backgrounds, all Plaintiffs say they would never have taken a job where their likeness would be used in the way Defendant did: promoting alcohol specials at relatively small venues.

         Plaintiffs sued Defendant on the following theories of liability: (1) violation of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. section 1125(a)(1)(B), for false advertising; (2) violation of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. section 1125(a)(1)(A), for false endorsement; (3) violation of section 540.08, Florida Statutes, for right to publicity and unauthorized misappropriation of name/likeness; (4) violation of the common law right to publicity and unauthorized misappropriation of name or likeness; (5) violation of section 501.204, Florida Statutes, for violation of Florida's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act; (6) violation of sections 772.11 and 812.014, Florida Statutes, for civil theft; (7) unjust enrichment; and (8) conversion. Defendant defaulted, and the Court held an evidentiary hearing on May 2, 2017, to consider Plaintiffs' damages.

         Following the evidentiary hearing, the Court entered a Final Default Judgment Order (Doc. 22). The Order explained that Plaintiffs' evidence at the hearing focused solely on their Lanham Act claims and claims brought under section 540.08, Florida Statutes. The Court concluded Plaintiffs failed to establish damages under the Lanham Act, but did establish $222, 500 in damages under section 540.08. The Court concluded the Order by stating:

The Court reserves jurisdiction to determine Plaintiffs' entitlement to attorneys' fees and costs. Plaintiffs' counsel is directed to file a motion with fourteen (14) days from the date of this Order showing both entitlement to and the amount of attorneys' fees and costs Plaintiffs are requesting. Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(d).

(Doc. 22, p. 12).

         DISCUSSION

         Plaintiffs filed a motion seeking $44, 825.00 in attorneys' fees, and $9, 909.27 in taxable costs. As explained below, Plaintiffs failed to show entitlement to attorneys' fees in their motion, so the Court cannot award any attorneys' fees. And Plaintiffs requests for costs must be reduced because the motion requests non-taxable costs.

         A. Attorneys' Fees

         “Under Florida law, each party generally bears its own attorneys' fees unless a contract or statute provides otherwise.” United States v. Pepper's Steel & Alloys, Inc., 289 F.3d 741, 742 (11th Cir. 2002). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d)(2) explains that when a party seeks attorneys' fees, they must file a motion “specify[ing] the judgment and the statute, rule, or other grounds entitling the movant to the award.” There was no contract between Plaintiffs and Defendant, so any entitlement to attorneys' fees necessarily must be based on a statute or rule.

         Plaintiffs brought successful claims under section 540.08, Florida Statutes. The ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.