Companies

Insurer to pay Sh0.5m for using man's photo

orient

Kenya Orient Insurance Limited managing director Muema Muindi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Kenya Orient Insurance Limited irregularly used the image of one Kevin Kimani Mungai on its Facebook page.
  • The claimant won the case he had filed against the insurer through lawyer Titus Koceyo, which the court said was a unique one.
  • Mr Koceyo told the court that the company posted Mr Mungai’s photograph for a promotional advertisement without consulting him first.

Kenya Orient Insurance Limited will part with Sh500,000 in compensation for using a photo of its client on its social media page without his consent.

Milimani Commercial Court senior principal magistrate Addah Obura slapped the judgment on the insurance firm after establishing that it irregularly used the image of one Kevin Kimani Mungai on its Facebook page.

The claimant won the case he had filed against the insurer through lawyer Titus Koceyo, which the court said was a unique one.

Mr Koceyo told the court that the company posted Mr Mungai’s photograph for a promotional advertisement without consulting him first.

“The advertisement ran from October 18, 2013 and received over 18,700 likes and visitors for the defendants (Kenya Oriental Insurance) own economic gain,” said Mr Mungai through his advocate.

He told the court the insurer took his photo when he went to collect a mobile phone, which he had taken for repair.

The device had been insured with Kenya Orient.

Upon inquiry as to why his photo was being taken, he said the insurer told him “it was proof they had repaired the phone to avoid any future claims”.

“However, he was allegedly surprised when he later received several calls, e-mails and communication from family and friends asking whether he is advertising for the defendant,” Ms Obura stated in her judgemnt.

The magistrate said the company admitted that it had taken the photograph of the plaintiff (Mungai) and posted it on the Facebook page though not for economic gain.

The insurer defended itself saying it was customary for it to post events touching on their mobile products — a fact which the plaintiff was well aware of.

Kenya Orient urged the court to dismiss the compensation claim against it as Mr Mungai did not suffer any loss or damage.

In the judgement, the court observed there was no evidence of consent to post the photograph from Mr Mungai.

“Such consent was necessary,” Ms Obura ruled.

The court concluded that the photographs posted in the company’s social media page was to gain financial mileage in their business.

“This clearly is a form of marketing in the eyes of an ordinary man. Orient is in the insurance business…It is not convincing that they were merely advertising and were not gaining anything from such visits to their Facebook page,” she added.

“In view of the foregoing I hereby enter judgement in favour of Mr Mungai in the sum of Sh500,000 plus costs and interest.”