A Michigan man is battling MSNBC after the cable network ran a story about a criminal who stole a limousine, using his picture by mistake. Keith Todd sued after the 2011 show, “Caught on Camera Dashcam Diaries,” used his image instead of the actual suspect, whose name is Todd Keith.
According to WOOD-TV, the program was about dumb criminals who got caught. The real culprit was said to have stolen the vehicle, then ran away when police were after him, only to jump back into the limo, where he was tased and arrested.
It might be a funny story, unless your photograph is used in connection with it. Mr. Todd wasn’t amused, and sued MSNBC, the limo company, and the police department. He took his case all the way to the Michigan Supreme Court, losing every decision. After the high court didn’t side with him, Todd now wants to sue in federal court, but he ran out of money after reportedly spending tens of thousands of dollars on the case. He started an online fundraising page seeking $100,000.
“I’ve had people come up to me and say, ‘Hey, I saw you on TV,'” Todd told the local television station. “I just mainly want my name to be cleared and for them to be held responsible for what they did.”
MSNBC says they’re blameless, because they got their information from the police. “If you received it from a responsible governmental source, there should not be a tort action that can be based upon it,” their lawyer, Leonard Niehoff, told the state Supreme Court.
So where did MSNBC even get Keith Todd’s picture? It’s unclear, but WOOD-TV noted that it appears to be a mugshot, but they don’t know where it’s from. They did report that in addition to having a name similar to the suspect in the cable show, Mr. Todd has been charged with vehicle theft in the past.