Joanna Gaines won't have to sit for deposition as lawsuit reaches settlement
March 19, 2018 | 12:08 pm CDT
HGTV Fixer Upper star Joanna Gaines will not have to sit for a deposition because the lawsuit involving her furniture line has reached a settlement.
According to court documents, Standard Furniture Manufacturing and LF Products are dismissing all claims against the other, closing the case.
After Standard Furniture Manufacturing filed a complaint against its Chinese suppliers LF Products for delivering chairs and sofas labeled "top grain leather" and using water buffalo hide instead, a lawsuit was launched.
Gaines discovered that LF was using buffalo hide on Magnolia Home, a furniture line designed by Gaines and her husband Chip. Gaines requested $150,000 per hour to sit in on a deposition, but was denied by a federal judge back in January.
Gaines was not a plaintiff or a defendant in the lawsuit. LF Products subpoenaed Gaines to give a deposition due to the fact that the line of furniture being sold is part of her Magnolia Home line. Gaines had expressed that she did not want to get involved in the lawsuit and would only attend a deposition for a hefty price.
Standard Furniture alleged that LF Products and True Designs Inc. shipped $600,000-worth of Magnolia Home furniture line in unsalable quality. Standard Furniture filed the complaint November 23, 2016, against several China-based business entities that also operate in the U.S. -- including LF Products PE, Alton Irvine Inc., doing business as True Innovations; True Designs Inc.; and Does 1-10 -- which it says delivered hundreds of thousands of dollars in shoddy leather goods, which now sit, worthless, in a warehouse.
Samples of good quality examples of the furniture were culled for review by Standard Furniture, and it approved the shipment overall. In its complaint, which called for a jury trial, Standard said the acceptable quality pieces represent less than 10 percent of the $650,000 shipment.
"This  'bait and switch' was discovered in an embarrassing and damaging manner for Standard and IFM when their licensing partner Joanna Gaines was shipped and opened a box containing the defective furniture," says the complaint. "It was immediately apparent to Ms. Gaines that the product was substandard and unsaleable."
Standard Furniture asked for restitution and the disgorgement of all earnings,  profits, compensation, benefits and other ill-gotten gains obtained by defendants,  the approximately $650,000 paid for the defective products and related freight and customs charges, as well as damages, including  punitive damages, for "defendants’ tortious conduct, in an amount to be proven at trial, but believed to be in excess of $2 million."


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Robert Dalheim

Robert Dalheim is an editor at the Woodworking Network. Along with publishing online news articles, he writes feature stories for the FDMC print publication. He can be reached at [email protected].