SOURCE: Ervin A. Gonzalez

October 06, 2005 18:40 ET

Jury Awards $1.5 Million to Makers of Martha Stewart Towels

K-Mart Distributor Found Guilty of Breach of Contract

MIAMI, FL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 6, 2005 -- A Miami jury awarded FABRICA DE TEJIDOS LA BELLOTA, S.A. (La Bellota), $1.5 million in damages for breach of contract. The jury found that Body Rags, a distributor of K-Mart, had breached its contract with La Bellota when they ordered bath towels for distribution and failed to pay for the goods.

The Verdict will allow La Bellota to recover about $1.5 million, including interest, for the Martha Stewart label towels that were ordered and delivered to Body Rags for sale at K-Mart stores throughout the nation. La Bellota sued for breach of contract for non-payment, while Body Rags defended based on the basis that the goods delivered were nonconforming. Body Rags counterclaimed against La Bellota for breach of warranty on a theory that the towels did not pass the shrinkage or colorfastness test. The jury disagreed, awarding La Bellota the entire amount it sought while finding against Body Rags on its counter-claim. "I am happy that the jury did the right thing," said Ervin A. Gonzalez, attorney for La Bellota. "La Bellota made the towels and delivered them to Body Rags, who kept them, sold them for profit to K-Mart, and failed to pay my client for the towels. That's just wrong."

The case was held in the Miami Dade County Circuit Court before Judge Fredrika Smith. The case was argued from September 25 through September 30, 2005. The Jury deliberated for about 2 hours. Ervin A. Gonzalez and Patrick Montoya represented the Plaintiff, La Bellota. Carlos Lehrman and Jody Lehrman represented the Defendant Body Rags.

About -- Ervin A. Gonzalez is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law and Business Litigation by the Florida Bar and the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Mr. Gonzalez is currently on the Board of Governors for The Florida Bar and a member of the National Board of Trustees of The National Institute of Trial Advocacy. He is past President of The Dade County Bar Association and has also served as President of the Dade County Trial Lawyers Association. He is an adjunct professor at The University of Miami School of Law. His areas of expertise include catastrophic injuries, wrongful death, medical malpractice, aviation accidents, trucking accidents and class action litigation.

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