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JC Penney interfered with Macy's/Martha Stewart contract, judge rules
JC Penney Co interfered with a contract between Macy's and Martha Stewart Living OmnimediaInc when it cut a deal to sell a line of Stewart's home goods, a New York judge ruled Monday.
According to a Reuters report, Justice Jeffrey Oing of New York State court in Manhattan said Macy's is entitled to monetary damages and attorneys' fees from Penney, but it failed to prove by "clear, unequivocal and convincing evidence" that it deserved punitive damages.
"The behavior exhibited by JCP's top executives, with JCP board ratification, has been less than admirable," Oing wrote in a 63-page decision. A referee or special hearing officer will assess damages and fees, the judge said.
Oing said Penney might be liable for profit from the sale of 900 designs that Martha Stewart Living prepared, some of which Penney had sold under the "JCP Everyday" label while the case was pending. Macy's had objected to the sales.
The judge also said Martha Stewart Living violated its agreement with Macy's by contracting with Penney, and that Penney encouraged it to do so.
JCPenney, in a statement, said it did not believe damages were warranted, and may appeal. The Plano, Texas-based company has said any payout would not be material to its results.
Macy's said it was "delighted" but "not surprised" by the decision.
Source: Home Accents Today