Macy’s Breach of Contract Case Against Martha Stewart to be Completed Soon

A lawsuit that began back in December 2011 may soon reach its conclusion, determining whether J.C. Penney is able to sell certain Martha Stewart products in its stores. The suit was initiated by Macy's, another retailer that sells Martha Stewart products.

Macy's argued in the suit that it had an agreement to sell certain products under the Martha Stewart Living label exclusively. The contract, which was signed in 2006, is not set to expire until 2018. In 2011, despite the Macy's contract, Martha Stewart Living and J.C. Penney agreed to collaborate, with J.C. Penney announcing its intention to sell Martha Stewart products beginning in 2013.

Consequently, Macy's filed suit, contending that Martha Stewart Living was in breach of its contract to sell those products exclusively at Macy's. Thereafter, Macy's filed a lawsuit against J.C. Penney, arguing that the retailer interfered with its contract with Martha Stewart Living.

Macy's claims that its contract provides it with the exclusive rights to bedding, cookware and bath products made by Martha Stewart Living. As a result, throughout the course of the suit, J.C. Penney has continued to sell Martha Stewart products in other departments, such as curtains and party goods.

The judge's decision in this case will determine whether J.C. Penney will be allowed to sell Martha Stewart products in the categories to which Macy's claims it has exclusive rights. The decision may also result in Macy's receiving damages, despite its previous claim that no amount of monetary damages would resolve the breach of contract issue.

Protect your business from breach of contract issues

Breach of contract claims can arise in a variety of forms during the operation of a business. In addition to agreements regarding how the business will be operated, breach of contract claims may also emerge during the sale of a business.

When a contract is breached, the party who has been harmed can seek a variety of remedies. To begin with, the party may seek damages - including compensatory and punitive - to cover any losses suffered as a result of the breach.

In addition, in some cases it may be appropriate to seek specific performance from the other involved party. In other words, the party filing suit may wish for the other party to perform under the terms of the contract as originally required. On the other hand, some circumstances may call for the contract to be cancelled, if the party filing suit no longer wishes for the terms to be met.

If another party has breached a contract with your business, seeking the advice of a skilled business law attorney will ensure your rights are protected.