(CN) - A teenage figure skater with a rare medical condition claims in court that medical supplies manufacturer Moog Inc. kept using her picture in brochures for a feeding pump after it dropped her from a sponsorship deal.
Kendall Hollinger, 15, through her mother Kim Hollinger, claims Moog agreed to sponsor her figure skating career because she uses the company's Eterna Light Infinity feeding pump to manage her condition. The athlete is allergic to 95 percent of foods, according to the complaint, and "even coming into contact with a surface that has touched food can cause Kendall to have a severe anaphylactic life-threatening reaction."
Despite relying on a gastric feeding tube for sustenance, Hollinger became a competitive figure skater and has been featured on Good Morning America, according to the complaint in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Moog agreed to sponsor Kendall in 2009 and featured the girl's image and story in the instruction manual for the feeding pump, the lawsuit states. In 2010, Hollinger's mother asked Moog if it wanted to continue the sponsorship deal and the company allegedly took six months to reply. Then the company allegedly ended the sponsorship and said it would remove Kendall Hollinger's photos from the product manual. But Moog "deliberately lied" and failed to remove the girl's image from the manuals, Kendall claims.
Kendall says the continued use of her image threatens to "dilute her celebrity status."
"Defendants have used and exploited Plaintiff's name and image for their own commercial profit and gain in connection with the promotion of their products," the complaint states. "Defendants are trading on the fame, likeness, personality, and celebrity of Plaintiff."
Hollinger seeks unspecified damages for invasion of privacy, commercial misappropriation and unfair competition. She is represented by Larry Zerner in Los Angeles.