WWE star Randy Orton, who is currently sidelined with back injury, was involved in a controversy over the usage of tattoos. A Tattoo artist Catherine Alexander went on trial after years of waiting when she brought forward a lawsuit against WWE, Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., 2K Games, Inc., 2K Sports, Inc., Visual Concepts Entertainment, Yuke’s Co., Ltd., and Yuke’s LA Inc. But, it was previously noted that the date was pushed back. It has been noted that the jury in the trial for the lawsuit has officially ruled in favor of Alexander.
Randy Orton trial concluded
According to a report by PW Insider, the jury has ruled in favor of Alexander after taking three hours and 26 minutes to come to a decision in the US District Court, Southern District of Illinois.
Another report by PW Insider stated that the jury made three main decisions. Asked if the tattoos were fair use, the jury ruled no and that Alexander was right to go for damages for them being used. Deciding the amount of damages she was entitled to for using the tattoos, they agreed that Alexander was entitled to $3750.
Finally, when asked whether Alexander was entitled to any profit from video games or other content for using the tattoos, the jury ruled that she was entitled to zero profit.
Originally, the lawsuit was set to go to trial on January 31, 2022, but has been postponed again. The U.S. District Court Southern District of Illinois (East St. Louis) Judge Staci M. Yandle postponed it because of the current surge of the omicron coronavirus pandemic in this district. She stated that a jury cannot be safely impaneled and trial cannot proceed as currently scheduled.
Alexander stated in the lawsuit that she performed the tattoo work on Randy Orton between 2003 and 2008. She believes they “are easily recognized by his fans and members of the public.” WWE originally used her work for faux sleeves and was later portrayed in a video game and she believes she should receive money from those consumer products.
Alexander alleged she contacted WWE in 2009 and the company offered her a $450 fee for the rights to the designs. She turned down an offer from WWE. The legal team for Alexander stated she “did not grant any permission to WWE to copy, duplicate or otherwise use or reproduce any of Plaintiff’s designs.”
When the lawsuit does go to trial, the court will decide whether the defendants had the right to use the work in the game as a copyright fair use or if Alexander has grounds to receive money for her work being used.