JC Penney Appeals ‘Disappointing’ Macy’s, Martha Stewart Court Ruling

JC Penney Co. appealed a New York state court ruling on Monday that found it had interfered with a contract between Macy’s and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. by selling the domestic diva’s home goods, Reuters reported.

In a statement from JC Penney obtained by HomeWorld Business, the retailer stated, While we appreciate the court’s efforts in this multi-year litigation, we respectfully disagree with and are disappointed by this outcome. The company does not believe that money damages are warranted and is defending against any damages by exercising its option for appeal.”

Macy’s said in a statement: “We are confident that appellate courts will affirm Justice [Jeffrey] Oing’s finding that J.C. Penney tortiously interfered with Macy’s contract with MSLO.  In addition, in light of J.C. Penney’s decision to appeal Justice Oing’s ruling, Macy’s plans to appeal that part of the Court’s decision denying a punitive damage award to Macy’s.  Macy’s believes that the trial record and the Court’s factual findings clearly justify punitive damages, and that the Court erred in not awarding them.”

The ruling, handed down by New York State Supreme Court Justice Jeffrey Oing on June 16, declined to award punitive damages to Macy’s or to recoup Macy’s attorney fees from J.C. Penney. Oing ordered instead that this be decided by a special judicial officer or referee, according to The New York Times.

The matter was brought to court over a December 2011 agreement between J.C. Penney and MSLO to sell home products, such as rugs and bath towels, in J.C. Penney’s stores. Macy’s sued both companies, saying that the agreement violated a five-year-old agreement it already had to sell many of the same housewares exclusively.