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Brookside ordered to pay plumber Sh3.2m for using his photo

Wednesday February 05 2020
milk

Milk processing at a Brookside Dairies factory in Ruiru. The man was fired after he complained about the firm using his picture in its calendar. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

An elderly plumber formerly employed by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s family firm will get Sh3.2 million for unlawful termination and use of his photograph without his consent, a court has ruled.

Mr David Gicheru, 80 years, was shown the door in 2018 after complaining when Brookside Dairies used his picture in its calendar.

Mr Gicheru through lawyer Donald Kipkorir sued Gicheha Farms and Brookside Dairies.

In 2017, Mr Gicheru said, he was photographed without his consent and Brookside published his image on various marketing media including calendars, which were used in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

Mr Kipkorir said they sought audience with the management for compensation but nothing was forthcoming despite promises. He thereafter opted to pursue legal claim, a move that earned his client the sack in July 2, 2018.

The companies, however, denied the claims and urged the court to dismiss the case as there were no constitutional issues to be addressed. Brookside said the publication was done in good faith and was not an invasion to his privacy as alleged.

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It said it engaged the elderly man with a view of settling the matter but he frustrated the efforts, insisting that his advocate to handle the matter.

But in her ruling, Justice Hellen Wasilwa said there was no evidence that Mr Gicheru agreed to be photographed as per the 2018 calendar. She added that his privacy was infringed and there was no indication he was paid for the use of his photo.

“I find that he is entitled for damages for the infringement and I award him Sh1.5 million as compensation accordingly,” she saidJudge said. The court also order his former employer to pay him Sh1.6 million for unfair termination.

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