SOURCE: Kawahito Shraga & Westrick LLP

August 16, 2011 05:00 ET

Lawsuit Filed Against Footwear Giant Skechers for Exploitation of Young Models' Images, Announces Kawahito Shraga & Westrick LLP

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - Aug 16, 2011) - Kawahito Shraga & Westrick LLP, a law firm focused on consumer rights and entertainment law cases, today announced the filing of a multi-plaintiff lawsuit against SKECHERS USA, a global leader in the footwear industry, for its wide-ranging violation of numerous young models' rights.

Filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, the complaint states that Skechers knowingly failed to pay for, and did not have the right to use, numerous images of its footwear being modeled in countless advertisements distributed globally.

"Skechers paid a small sum of money for only limited use of these images, for a limited amount of time," said David Shraga, counsel representing the group of young models, and founding partner of Kawahito Shraga & Westrick LLP. "Then, it disregarded these limitations and embarked on a successful worldwide branding campaign that was built around the images of these young models."

The lawsuit alleges that Skechers knew it did not pay for or have the rights to use the models' images in a global campaign. In doing so, Skechers took advantage of young up-and-coming models who would find it difficult to discover the wrongdoing, especially as it took place in foreign countries.

"Our clients became the faces of Skechers throughout its worldwide efforts to build its brand," Shraga added. "Skechers' own executives have attributed billions in sales to these campaigns. The full extent of Skechers' exploitation of the very models that defined its worldwide brand is not yet fully known. We believe there are more models out there that have claims -- particularly ones who worked with the renowned photographer Richard Reinsdorf, who has already filed his own lawsuit against Skechers."

The models are seeking compensatory damages for amounts they were never paid, punitive damages to punish Skechers and deter others from engaging in similar conduct and a share of Skechers' profits derived from the unauthorized use. The models are seeking no less than $10 million in compensation for Skechers' misappropriation of their likenesses.

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