LeBron James has had the cloud of a lingering lawsuit involving a photographer around him over the last several months. The LA Lakers‘ star forward initially responded to the situation, but that hasn’t moved the ball toward a resolution. James has now taken additional legal action to help bring an end to the entire matter.
LeBron James sued by photographer for $150,000
Throughout the last few years, LeBron James has dealt with his fair share of lawsuits off-the-court.
Another came about in March as longtime photographer Steven Mitchell filed a lawsuit against the LA Lakers star forward for $150,000 or the money made off a social post. The suit centers on James posting a photo that Mitchell took of him dunking during a game against the Miami Heat on December 13, 2019.
James posted the photo from the game as a cropped version on Facebook that didn’t have any accreditation to Mitchell. The lawsuit states that he didn’t give the four-time NBA Finals MVP permission to use the photo for his personal use. The post gathered plenty of social media interactions with fans with likes and shares.
Several months have since gone by, and James has finally legally responded to the entire matter with his unique twist to the matter.
LeBron James countersues photographer with ironic reasoning
The last several weeks have seen LeBron James go through some legal proceedings involving lawsuit.
The 35-year-old has elected to respond to Mitchell’s standing suit against him as countered sued for at least $1 million and attorney fees. James’ initial court filings contested that he is entitled to post the photos as long as he’s not exploiting the work for profit.
However, James’ stance didn’t have any grounding as despite him the primary fixature of the photo doesn’t give him the right to post them elsewhere. Mitchell owns the photos through copyright that gives him the right to control “the reproduction of his photos, such as their publication on social media websites.”
The 16-time All-Star’s countersuit lays on the argument that Mitchell illegally used the photos on his website to promote his own services. James’ statement through his counsel Howard Shire voiced to The Athletic that he attempted to settle for a reasonable amount of money.
Shire also voiced that James has no desire to obtain the money desired in the countersuit and hopes to resolve the situation “amicably.”
What lies ahead?
The entire situation now shifts over to Mitchell’s team to respond to LeBron James’ latest legal action.
There is a clear desire from the Lakers’ star forward to get the entire matter worked out of court. The hope is that the two sides can reach a settlement to avoid the suit from lingering on any further.
Mitchell’s attorney, Kevin McColluch, did not see the move in that fashion as he voiced that James is attempting to “harass” and “threatening to bankrupt a courtside photographer.”
There isn’t any clarity concerning if and when a resolution can be met as Mitchell’s side is firm in their stance. Meanwhile, James’ legal team has given off the notion that they are willing to work with the situation. The $1 million countersuit is a high financial figure, but one in place to help put an end to the legal matter.
Only time will tell how much longer things will continue to persist in the legal realm.