Damage Suits: The Skin Trade

In a rare award last week, a Parisian judge returned not only damages but the damaged property—a valuable piece of the plaintiff's anatomy—to a French girl named Claudine Perot. During filming of the movie Secret Paris in 1964, Claudine, who was then only 17, allowed a tattoo artist to decorate her buttock with a full-color rendering of the Eiffel Tower. Under the contract, the tattoo belonged to the moviemaker—Ulysee Productions—which probably wanted it for publicity purposes. Accordingly, Claudine had it removed by surgery and gave it to Ulysee. This year, older and a little wiser, Claudine brought suit against...

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