Plano, Texas – J.C. Penney has filed an appeal of a June 16 ruling by the New York State Supreme Court that it "tortuously" interfered with Macy’s 2006 contract with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia when Penney entered into its own contract with Martha Stewart in 2011. In the ruling, Justice Jeffrey K. Oing said Macy’s failed to prove that it is entitled to punitive damages.
However, the 63-page ruling ordered that both parties move the matter of Macy’s damages and attorney’s fees to a judicial hearing officer or special referee. Macy’s filed suit against Penney in mid-2012, accusing the retailer of infringing on Macy’s pre-existing exclusive contract with Stewart to sell her branded goods in-store and online. Penney, under the leadership of then-CEO Ron Johnson, acquired a 17% stake in Martha Stewart Living in late 2011 and was leveraging Stewart’s star power to help revive flagging sales at the department store chain.
In January 2012, Macy’s sued Martha Stewart Living for breach of contract, and then filed suit against J.C. Penney in August. Penney has not commented on the appeal.