Look Like Mike? Sue Somebody!

By July 11, 2006Briefly Legal

Thanks to Carter Wood for passing this one along from his hometown newspaper, The Oregonian.

Apparently one Allen Ray Heckard (that’s him on the right in this photo next to a more famous guy on the left….) says he’s been told he bears a striking resemblance to His Airness, Michael Jordan. Mr. Heckard, according to this story by Holly Danks, “an airport shuttle driver and auto detailer with a prison record for drug possession” has had a hard time leading a normal life as a result of this apparent likeness. This means, he says, that “he cannot attend a religious service or public functions, go to movies, ride public transportation, go shopping or play sports in public parks ‘without continually being harassed by the public'” due to folks thinking he’s Mike.

And so he did what any other Michael Jordan look-alike would do: He has filed a lawsuit, asking $416 million from Jordan and an equal amount from Nike founder Phil Knight. This sum, incidentally, breaks down into $52 million for defamation and permanent injury and $364 million for — you guessed it — punitive damages. Guess he’s had time to think about this in the airport shuttle line.

In any event, just one more example of lawsuits run amok, the culture of litigation. The one bright spot is that Hekcard is acting as his own attorney. Surprising that trial lawyers didn’t come out of the woodwork to take this case.