| NEW YORK, April 15
NEW YORK, April 15 A lawsuit claiming Martha
Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc tried to undercut a
business partner's relationship with pet products retailer
PetSmart Inc can proceed, a New York state judge has
Age Group Ltd in July 2009 entered into a four-year
licensing agreement with Martha Stewart Living to market and
sell Stewart-branded pet products. Four months later, Age Group
and PetSmart struck a deal under which PetSmart would buy
Stewart-branded pet products from Age Group.
New York-based Age Group, which manufactures and licenses
products for distribution, sued Martha Stewart Living last year
in state court in Manhattan for breach of contract and other
The lawsuit said that after Age Group contracted with
PetSmart, Martha Stewart Living realized that it had undervalued
Stewart-branded pet products. Martha Stewart Living disparaged
Age Group to PetSmart and withheld approval of pet products to
try to get PetSmart to contract directly with Martha Stewart
Living, according to the complaint.
On Monday, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich
denied a bid by Martha Stewart Living to dismiss the lawsuit,
saying a question remained as to whether Martha Stewart Living
had acted in bad faith, in violation of its contract with Age
The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages.
Lawyers for Age Group and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia
were not immediately available for comment on Tuesday.
The case is Age Group Ltd v. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia
Inc, New York Supreme Court, No. 653408/2014.
(Reporting by Bernard Vaughan; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)