Kelly Crow reports that Halsey Minor has won his court case against Christie’s. Minor owed Christie’s $12 million for works of art he’d purchased at the auction house but not paid for. He gave them some works of art to be sold and cover the bill. The works did not sell but Christie’s decided to hold on to them until Minor paid. However, Christie’s did not explain to Minor that they were holding the works against the $7 million he still owed after having paid down $5m of the debt. A US District Court judge has ordered Christie’s to pay $8.57m in damages after a jury found against Christie’s:
Mr. Minor complained and Christie’s returned the works in November. Ultimately, the house’s decision to tell the collector one thing but do another led the jury to find Christie’s guilty of fraud, according to the court verdict. The jury also found the house guilty of breach of contract and conversion, a legal term for wrongfully keeping another’s property.
Mr. Minor, who reneged on paying for the remaining $7 million of his winning bids, was ordered by the judge to pay Christie’s $1.4 million—the difference in the commission the auction house would have collected from him compared with the lower commission it got from eventually reselling the Cassatt and other works at a discount.
Minor Scores Major Victory in Christie’s Dispute (Wall Street Journal)