Lawsuit filed over youth sports league photos

SCOTIA, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Everyone likes to have keepsake photos of their children playing their favorite sports but one local photographer has left parents without what they paid for since last spring.

The owner of GND Studios was using space at a location in Scotia but now he’s nowhere to be found and dozens of families are without photos of their children. The New York Attorney General’s Office is now stepping in.

Parents in Niskayuna are furious and have been waiting several months to receive photos of their children playing baseball and softball.

“My friends don’t have their baseball pictures and my boyfriend doesn’t have his baseball pictures. No one has baseball pictures,” Kerrie Helwig said.

Helwig is just one of them. She has two sons playing in the Niskayuna Baseball League and has been waiting on photos of them since last spring.

“I look forward to having them every year. I placed last year’s and the year before and you just see how your kids grow in the sport.”

According to the attorney general’s office, nearly 80 other parents are waiting for the same thing.

“Despite the fact that he was supposed to produce them in June, parents haven’t received any of the photos,” Amy Schallop, of the Consumer Fraud and Protection Bureau of the Attorney General’s Office, said.

She says a stack of papers shows the number of complaints they’ve received about a man named Robert Dungan, owner of GND Studios. He charged parents anywhere from about $20 to $40 per package for photos and never produced them.

“Parents really love to have those memories and quite a number of parents did, in fact, pay for the packages.”

The AG has now filed a lawsuit against Dungan, demanding he hand over the photos or pay restitution. He issued this statement:

“Big League Pics relied on an outsourced vendor to create the composite team and individual photos for Niskayuna Baseball and Softball. That vendor ceased their business after Big League Pics photographed the players for the two leagues. The players were each photographed individually using a special system that lights up a white background. The outsourced vendor removed the background and “photoshops” the players into a digital team and individual image keeping every player scaled to their actual size and adding realistic shadows. Big League Pics has located another vendor and is working to get the photos processed.

Big League Pics has not photographed any sports league since this situation, we are a small business that got in over our heads when we lost our vendor. Please note that Big League Pics donated trophies, raffle tickets and bicycles to Niskayuna Baseball costing over $1000 during the season.

Number of orders placed and amount paid
Softball: 90, $2328
Baseball: 176, $5037”

That’s something that also happened to Helwig when she tried to contact Dungan herself.

“I emailed them I called them. I left messages on their Facebook and they totally avoided me,” Helwig said.

Now, she just wants him to make things right.

“I don’t even want my photos I would like my money back because clearly were not getting the pictures.”

The attorney general’s office says they were unable to get ahold of Dungan. If anyone else had a similar situation with him contact the attorney general’s office immediately.

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