Defendants' Attorney Evan Rothstein | Arnold & Porter
CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) – HomeAdvisor Inc., ANGI Homeservices Inc. and Hawthorne Direct LLC have asked the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to dismiss an amended version of a lawsuit filed against them, saying the plaintiff still has not proven his claims.
The court dismissed the original version of the complaint filed by Ray Alan Bovinett in March, but allowed the plaintiff to amend the lawsuit, telling him exactly where the previously dismissed suit fell short.
“But plaintiff’s amended complaint ignores the court’s guidance and instead repackages faulty allegations with supposition and hyperbole, in addition to pleading numerous new claims for relief that are facially invalid,” the June 25 motion said.
“Such speculation and imprecision at this stage of the proceedings — after an initial dismissal and the aid of significant discovery, including interrogatory responses and document productions from HomeAdvisor, as well as document productions from multiple non-parties — is insufficient.”
In addition, the defendants argued that “Bovinett’s inability to state plausible claims for relief in the second effort demonstrates that there is no factual predicate for this case against these defendants.”
Bovinett’s lawsuit alleges that HomeAdvisor “improperly used” pictures of him taken in 2014 on television commercials and in other media. He is an actor in the Chicago entertainment community.
The defendants contend that the plaintiff’s agent, Julie Tallarida, signed an agreement consenting to the use of the photos in question “in any media.” However, Bovinett claims that Tallarida told him the pictures would only be used in print advertisements, based on promises allegedly made by HomeAdvisor Vice President of Corporate Communications Brooke Gabbert.
“Bovinett alleges that a convoluted conspiracy among HomeAdvisor, Hawthorne and ANGI, myriad tort and statutory violations and multiple breaches of contract render the consent and release ineffective,” the dismissal motion said.
The defendants said Bovinett claims that HomeAdvisor used the pictures on television anyway in an attempt to “keep production costs low by preying on the ‘less sophisticated’ production community in Chicago.”
The defendants said in the dismissal motion that the allegations Bovinett raises in his amended complaint that the pictures were improperly used as part of a “frenetic array of omissions and misrepresentations” are not backed up by the evidence he provided. In addition, the defendants said all of these claims are "fabrications.”