Model sues Medtronic for using his image in prostate problem ad

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You'd think models would take any job and all the exposure they can get, but one Brooklyn Center man is pretty upset after Medtronic allegedly used his image for a prostate treatment ad without his permission.

Ubaldo Dominguez Ramos, 58, is suing Medtronic, claiming they defamed him by illegally using a photo of him for the ad. It doesn't help that Ramos is proclaiming "Now I can go like I am 19 again!" in the ad. Not exactly the most flattering "story" you want out there.

Ramos says he has never had prostate problems and the ad freaked out his mom in Texas. Grounds for a lawsuit all on its own. He says the photo was also an invasion of privacy through commercial appropriation. Ramos is asking for a jury trial and more than $75,000 in damages. He also wants to ban Medtronic from using the image again. Ramos claimed he posed for a photo in 1998 and signed a release for the photo, but the photo used was from a 2001 shoot where he did not sign a release of his image.

In a statement Thursday in the Star Tribune, Medtronic said: "Whenever Medtronic uses a photo in association with our product materials, the appropriate rights and permissions are obtained. Medtronic has no further comment on this litigation, which was just served/filed yesterday."

According to the Star Tribune report, the ad reads, "`I was on prostate medication for almost two years, but it wasn't working like it did at first. My doctor suggested RF therapy. Now I can go like I'm 19 again!' -- Arturo, RF therapy procedure March 2005."

There is a disclaimer at the bottom of the ad saying the quote is from an actual patient, but the photo is not the patient.

The same photo was also used for another ad for prostate cancer, but that ad did not have a disclaimer.

Ramos says the use of the image hurt his career and he has suffered emotional distress being portrayed as a man with prostate problems and sexual dysfunction. And if he actually gets these problems he supposedly already has in several advertisements, he can really sue the piss out of them.

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