A lawsuit over a lawsuit against the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs over a New York Times article about a woman who sued the city for using her image in a New Year’s Day ad has been dismissed by a judge.
The Manhattan District Court ruled Tuesday that a settlement agreement between the city and the newspaper is insufficient and cannot be enforced, and the matter is in the hands of a lower court.
A judge in June threw out the case brought by the plaintiff, Lisa Marie Karr, against the city, saying she had not shown a case to prove she had been defamed.
The city later agreed to pay $5 million to Karr for her medical bills and to give her an award of $1 million.
The lawsuit accused the city of using Karr’s image without permission or attribution and falsely asserting that she sold the ad for $3,000.
The Times, citing an anonymous source, reported that Karr sold the campaign for $5,000 and the city did not pay her a dime.
A jury in April awarded Karr $100,000 in compensatory damages, $40,000 to cover her medical expenses, and $50,000 for attorney fees.
The newspaper later reported that the city paid Karr just $50 for her time.
Karr’s attorney, William Mazzola, said in a statement that he was disappointed the case was dismissed.
He said the city is trying to get the lawsuit thrown out in order to protect Karr.
“The city’s strategy has been to sue people for speaking out about its outrageous anti-consumer practices and it’s clear that its actions have harmed the people of New York, not only in the City of New Yorkers but across the country,” he said.
Kerr said in the statement that she plans to appeal the judge’s decision.
The city of New Orleans settled with Karr in December over the issue.
The settlement allows Karr to get paid for the costs of her legal fees and court costs, but does not allow the city to recover any punitive damages, Mazzole said.
He also noted that the settlement does not preclude the city from pursuing other claims in the future.