An appeals court has ruled against family members of an Oklahoma National Guard member whose open casket was photographed by Harper’s Magazine.
The 2004 funeral of Sgt. Kyle Brinlee at the Pryor High School gymnasium was attended by 1,200 people, including Gov. Brad Henry, who spoke.
“While it could be argued that publication of [the photo] without prior authorization was in poor taste … it does not constitute an actionable claim under any of the theories advanced by plaintiffs,” the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on March 23 in Showler v. Harper’s Magazine.
Robert Showler, Brinlee’s biological father, and Johnny Davidson, his maternal grandfather, alleged among other things that the magazine and photographer Peter Turnley invaded their privacy, deceived them and unjustly enriched themselves by publishing the photo.