American Chopper star Paul Teutul Sr. isn’t the only member of the family facing legal trouble. His son, Mikey Teutul, is now facing a lawsuit after being accused of using a photographer’s photos without permission or compensation.
Documents obtained by The Blast show that a photographer named Scott Gunnells has hit the Discovery Channel star, who appeared on the series from 2003 until 2012, with a federal lawsuit after copyrighted photos he took of Mike in 2013 were used by the star for promotional purposes.
According to Gunnells, Mikey used the photos to promote the sale of apparel and artwork related to promotional appearances on both his Facebook page and official website. The photog also alleges that the images were used by Teutul Sr. and his custom motorbike shop Orange County Choppers, which features on American Chopper.
The Teutul’s reportedly never asked permission to use the photos and Gunnells never received compensation.
He is asking for an unspecified amount in damages as well as an injunction to prevent the Teutul’s from continuing to profit from use of the copyrighted images.
The lawsuit comes as Mike’s father faces another lawsuit in his ongoing bankruptcy case. Earlier this month, JTM Motorsports reportedly filed the suit against the star seeking $30,000 under allegations that Teutul Sr. breached a settlement deal that they reached together in January.
According to the documents, Teutul Sr. had failed to release $30,000 from an escrow account by an agreed-upon deadline, and though JTM attempted to resolve the issue, they have continuously been ignored.
As a result, JTM is requesting that Teutul Sr. be held in contempt of court. They are also requesting that the court force the star to release the $30,000, along with another $13,000 to cover JTM's attorney fees and punitive damages.0comments
Teutul Sr. had filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in the state of New York last year, claiming that he has $1,801,729 in assets and $1,070,893.44 in liabilities, though he has had a difficult time liquidating his properties. He recently managed to sell his 3,448 square feet Montgomery, New York mansion, with several farm animals included, after several price slashes saw the price tag drop to $1.9 million.
On top of the legal troubles, the fate of American Chopper is currently in limbo. The series, which has seen a number of rough patches throughout its run, has not yet been renewed by Discovery, and sources have claimed that the network intends on canceling it, though an official announcement has not yet been made.
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