Former Pro Angler Files Lawsuit Against Bernie Sanders

   03.17.20

Last month, professional bass angler Jason Quinn filed a lawsuit against Bernie Sanders after the Democratic Party candidate featured Mr. Quinn in a campaign video without his consent.

According to The Herald, the lawsuit was filed February 29 in South Carolina’s York County Civil Court.

In the video, titled “5 Reasons the Border Wall Won’t Stop Drugs,” Quinn is seen driving his sponsor-wrapped bass boat across a lake while the narrator is talking about drugs being smuggled into the U.S. via speed boats.

The lawsuit states Quinn is not a supporter of Sanders, did not give the party permission to use the video, and that Quinn has been personally affected by the video’s portrayal of him in reference to the trafficking of illegal drugs.

The video is still online today and can be viewed below:

(Skip to the 1:46 mark to see the part of the video in question)

Quinn personally stated in the lawsuit that Sanders and the campaign invaded his privacy, defamed him, and were grossly negligent and reckless in using the clip for his video – which has been seen by millions on Facebook, YouTube and other sites, The Herald reports.

“Defendants did not obtain consent or seek to receive Quinn’s permission to use his likeness or identity,” the lawsuit states. “Plaintiff brings this action in order to vindicate an egregious, intentional false association created by the video whereby defendants suggested plaintiff is in any way associated in criminal activities, and specifically, that he is in any way associated with the trafficking of illegal drugs.”

The lawsuit seeks a temporary restraining order, followed by a permanent order, prohibiting Sanders and the campaign from using Quinn’s identity. The suit also includes an unspecified amount of actual and punitive damages.

Quinn is represented by Rock Hill lawyers Zach Merritt of the law offices of Michael Brown Jr., and Eve Schafer Goodstein of the McGowan, Hood and Felder firm.

“This outrageous video created by Mr. Sanders and his campaign, which has been seen by millions of people, portrays Mr. Quinn — in an extraordinarily public and harmful manner — as a criminal and a drug smuggler,” Merritt said Monday. “Mr. Quinn is a lifelong Republican who opposes the policies of Mr. Sanders. He is appalled that Mr. Sanders’ team would engage in the unauthorized use of his likeness and image to further Mr. Sanders’ campaign and his positions. This portrayal is completely contrary to who Mr. Quinn is as a person.”

Jason Quinn was a member of the Bassmaster Tournament Trail from 1995 to 2016, where he made six appearances in the Bassmaster Classic and had one tournament win. He also appeared on the FLW and Major League Fishing tours.

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