Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Gagosian-Koons Lawsuit Survives Motion to Dismiss (UPDATED)

Story here.  This is the one with the ouroboros.  A similar suit, by Joel Silver, recently settled after it emerged that it was being funded by Ron Perelman.

More later when I have a chance to read the decision.

UPDATE:  I've read the decision.  There were basically three sorts of claims that survived:

1.  The claim that late delivery is a breach even though the agreement only had an "estimated" completion date.  The Court ruled that "whether the delay constitutes a breach depends on what constitutes acceptable commercial conduct in view of the nature, purpose and circumstances of the action to be taken" -- and that could not be decided on a motion to dismiss.

2.  Claims under the UCC "repudiation" provision.  "Here, Tananbaum sufficiently alleges a repudiation … because he alleges that: (1) after Gagosian repeatedly delayed the Works, Tananbaum made a written demand for adequate assurance of Gagosian's performance; and (2) Gagosian failed to provide that assurance within a reasonable time."

3.  Claims under New York's "multiples" law.  The complaint alleged that Tananbaum "requested an image of and descriptive information about" the two editioned works before entering into the relevant agreements and, the Court said, "I must accept as true Tananbuam's allegation that available information was sought and not given."  It did strike the demand for treble damages because the "conclusory allegation that Gagosian 'willfully failed to disclose information' … is insufficient to sustain [the] demand for treble damages particularly where, as here, Tananbaum alleges that he was represented by an art advisor, and he proceeded with the purchase despite the limited information of which he now complains."  He can seek his money back (plus interest), but that's it.