The family of Sir Donald Bradman is suing a legal firm over commercial exploitation of the late cricketing great's name, saying the misuse allowed it to be portrayed like "Mickey Mouse."
Solicitors for Bradman's son John Bradman filed a statement of claim in the Supreme Court of South Australia. It seeks unspecified damages from the law firm Allens Arthur Robinson for alleged failures of "due care, skill and diligence" in the assignment of the cricketer's name to the Bradman Foundation, The Australian newspaper reported on Saturday.
In the suit filed on Friday, the family described Bradman as "a loved and missed family member, not a brand name like Mickey Mouse."
The foundation licenses the name to help support the Bradman Museum and Bradman Trust. Allens has provided the foundation with free legal advice and also advised Bradman, according to the statement of claim.
In its complaint, the family says that Allens, while serving the foundation, disregarded Bradman's repeated instructions that his successors and heirs enjoy right of veto over the foundation's commercial uses of the Bradman name.
Three years ago, the foundation licensed a food company to market "Bradman" chocolate chip cookies in India to help raise funds for underprivileged children. Then, the Bradman family used the same "Mickey Mouse" comparison to oppose the plan, adding: "Sir Donald would be adamant in his opposition to his use of his name. So is his family."
Bradman, who died in 2001 aged 92, is one of the greatest Australian sportsmen of all time, and perhaps the world's greatest cricketer.
He scored 6,996 runs in 52 cricket tests spanning 20 years, and his average of 99.94 runs per test innings is far superior to any other batsman.