May 5, 2008

A Class Action Lawsuit Filed by Parents of Soldiers Who Died in Iraq Seeks $36 Billion in Punitive Damages from Anti-War T-Shirt Company

The Associated Press reports that "A Tennessee couple who lost their son in Iraq want an Arizona merchant to pay more than $40 billion in damages to survivors of soldiers whose names are on the anti-war shirts he is selling online. A complaint seeking class-action status for the lawsuit by Robin and Michael Read says Dan Frazier of Flagstaff has no right to profit from commercial sale of products that use the dead soldiers' names without permission. The change, requested Tuesday in federal court in Tennessee, would cover the heirs of all U.S. service members killed in the Middle East since Sept. 11, 2001, and seek $4 billion in compensatory damages and $36.5 billion of punitive damages. . . . Frazier's 'Bush lied — They died' T-shirts, sold at his site, list Iraq war casualties' names, and Frazier contends he is covered by First Amendment free-speech protections. . . . The Reads' amended complaint says Frazier has no right to make a profit from the commercial sale of products using the casualties' names without permission."