MINNEAPOLIS (CN) – A photo model says Medtronic misappropriated his image and defamed him – and scared his mother – by using his face in an ad claiming that a Medtronic drug had helped him recover from prostate cancer. Ubaldo Dominguez Ramos says Medtronic ran the phony newspaper ad in South Texas to appeal to people who, like him, are Latino.
Dominguez says he has never had cancer, but his mother didn’t know that when she saw the ad in the (nonparty) McAllen Monitor.
Medtronic, which is better known for its heart defibrillators, also makes the drug Prostiva RF, to treat enlarged prostate and prostate cancer.
In the ad in question, which also was used by a Rio Grande Valley hospital, Dominguez appeared to be giving a testimonial about his own experience with the drug.
The caption said in part, “My doctor suggested RF therapy. Now I can go like I’m 19 again!”
While the ads indicated that the Ramos was not the actual patient, the note was in small type at the bottom.
Dominguez says he posed for the photo long ago, but Medtronic had no right to use it. He seeks damages for defamation and misappropriation of his image. He is represented in Hennepin County Court by Peter Nickitas.