Clint Arthur claims his three separate suits against Louis Vuitton and MoCA in Los Angeles are in defense of collectors. But a judge has thrown out the two that are class action suits because Arthur refused a refund offered to him by the company and musuem, according to Mike Boehm of the LA Times’s Culture Monster:
“To allow a purchaser to both keep his allegedly defective purchase and to get his money back…rewards opportunistic litigation (of which this case is a prime example),” Highberger wrote in his ruling last Friday. However, he said Arthur could file another suit “if a new and different set of facts exist at some future point in time,” such as MOCA not following through on its offer of a refund, or if it fails to provide “a legally adequate certificate.” The judge also denied MOCA’s claim that it should be exempted from the Fine Prints Act because it is a charitable organization. [ . . . ] Arthur’s attorney, Daniel Engel, said an appeal was important not for the money — the Fine Prints Act provides for triple damages if violations are “willful” — but because if Highberger’s ruling stands, “it would be basically an emasculation of the Fine Prints Act.” The problem, he said, is that the decision means that even blatantly dishonest dealers could avoid wider consequences by simply refunding the purchases of anyone who complains; there would be no way for many other unknowing print buyers to be alerted about problems via a class action lawsuit. Engel said that MOCA sold 750 of the Murakami prints alone.
Although the Fine Prints Act was passed in 1970, only one case before Arthur’s had resulted in a legal decision. Highberger cited that early 1980s case in ruling that Arthur needed to return his prints to have a case.
Judge Dismisses Clint Arthur’s Suit Against MOCA Over Murakami Prints (Culture Monster/LA Times)