GLENDALE, California (AP) -- A jury has awarded $15.6 million to a man whose image was used for years without his permission on Taster's Choice coffee labels.

Russell Christoff, a former model from Northern California, posed for a two-hour Nestle photo shoot in 1986 but figured it was a bust -- until he stumbled across his likeness on a coffee jar while shopping at a drug store in 2002.

A legal dispute with Nestle USA ensued, during which Christoff, 58, declined the company's $100,000 settlement offer, and Nestle USA turned down his offer to to settle for $8.5 million.

Last week, a Los Angeles County Superior Court jury ordered Nestle USA to pay Christoff $15.6 million for using his likeness without his permission and profiting from it. The award includes 5 percent of the Glendale-based company's profit from Taster's Choice sales from 1997 to 2003.
He first came across his picture while shopping for bloody mary mix, and says there's a good reason he didn't spot it sooner.

"I don't buy Taster's Choice," he said. "I do beans."
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