Fired Coolblue deliverer seizes next to 25,000 euros portrait compensation

At the beginning of last year, RTL Z reported that Coolblue had fired the delivery person after he choked a colleague during an argument.

Image on delivery vans

A complicating factor in the dismissal was that the man appeared to be depicted on dozens of delivery vans from the web store. At the time, Coolblue did not want to say what would happen to the images on the vans.

At the end of 2020, a Rotterdam subdistrict court ruled that the man was not entitled to the 10,000 euros he had demanded in severance payments. As it turns out, the man then went to court to demand an even larger sum of money from Coolblue. This time for violation of his portrait rights.

Claim of 25,000 euros

According to the employee, although he had agreed to the use of his image on the company buses in his original employment contract, he should have given his permission again when his contract was renewed. Because he had never done so, he believed he was entitled to 25,000 euros.

It appears from his demand that the man also appeared in a Coolblue promotional film on Youtube about the introduction of electric delivery vans by the web store. That video has since been taken offline.

Judge rejects claim

Coolblue did not respond to his claim for compensation, so the former employee had to go to court again last year.

A ruling made public today shows that the Rotterdam subdistrict court rejected the man’s claim two weeks ago. According to the judge, Coolblue indicated that the employment conditions remained the same when it extended its contract.

Violation of privacy

The fact that the man asked Coolblue at the end of 2020 not to use the footage anymore was of no use to him either. The Subdistrict Court acknowledges that the use of a person’s portrait can infringe on their privacy, but considers that Coolblue is more important.

According to the web store, the costs for replacement photos alone on 36 electric company buses would be ‘unreasonably high’.

Delivery disruption

Moreover, the replacement of the visual material would seriously disrupt the daily delivery for a long period of time, Coolblue stated in court. “A large part of the delivery service is temporarily suspended, orders cannot be delivered and the logistics will have to be adjusted.”

Coolblue was unable to comment on the case this afternoon. The employee’s attorney was unavailable for explanation.

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