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Adam Holland Lawsuit: Family Of Man With Down Syndrome Sue For $18 Million After Photo Sparks Meme

[preamble]We need legislation for this? We need to be told not to possible bother anyone? Are we kidding here? Are we making a country where we are afraid to look at each other for fear of offending? The world is a cruel place and no legislation is going to defend you out there.
Hmm – lest we forget aq doctor LOST a lawsuit claiming many people defamed him on facebook and twitter – the judge said “freedom of speech”. But i guess this doctor was not “special” enough to have so his practice suffered. When this folly ends![backtopost]

The family of a Tennessee man with Down syndrome was devastated when they discovered a photo of their disabled son had spawned a derogatory Internet meme. So to quash the widespread use of the altered image and — hopefully — help others who may be subjected to the offense in the future, Adam Holland’s family filed a $18 million lawsuit last week.

The photo of a teenage Holland holding up a piece of his artwork during a class at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center in 2004 did not make waves until last year, when modified versions of the image that included defamatory messages popped up on numerous websites.

“It was devastating for this family, emotionally,” Larry Crain, the attorney who represents the Hollands, told Nashville’s WSMV-TV. “He’s a very likable, very presentable young man who I don’t think fully appreciates the hurt that’s been inflicted on him.”

Though the family is not aware of exactly how the photo sparked the meme nearly a decade later, the Hollands pinpointed several sites, including the website of Florida radio station WHPT-FM, that allegedly repurposed the photo.

Having filed the defamation suit in a Tennessee U.S. District Court on April 22, the Hollands seek from three parties $3 million in compensatory damages and $3 million in punitive damages, amounting to $18 million in total.

Whether the Holland family’s lawsuit triumphs or not, advocacy groups are campaigning to ban the widespread use of messages that are offensive to people with special needs.