Sad Story of a DUI, and a Film About it
SACRAMENTO (CN) - A man who recovered from his son's killing by a drunken driver by making an educational video about drunk driving claims an online traffic school is using the film for its own profit, though it knows he owns the rights to it.
Russell Turner dba Turner & Associates sued The Distance Learning Company dba TrafficSchoolOnline.com and its founder, Steve Soldis, in Federal Court.
Turner created the film "DUI: Dead in 5 Seconds" in 1999 after his 19-year-old son, Jeremy, was killed by a drunken driver.
Since then, he says, he has licensed the film to crime prevention programs, traffic schools and similar enterprises across the country.
Turner says he learned in 2008 that TrafficSchoolOnline.com was using the film in its courses without his consent.
Turner offered to license the film for $4,000 per year, but the school declined the offer and Soldis told him he would quit using the film, according to the lawsuit.
"But TSO [Traffic School Online] never stopped using the video," Turner says in the lawsuit. "Five years later, in 2013, plaintiff learned that TSO was still showing the film in its courses. After plaintiff again confronted TSO, TSO refused to pay for the right to use the film. To this day, TSO refuses to pay for its infringements."
Turner seeks disgorgement of profits, and compensatory, consequential, and statutory damages for copyright infringement and intentional misrepresentation.
He is represented by Lukas Clary of El Dorado Hills, Calif.