Christie’s Wins Dismissal of Koch’s Counterfeit Wine Suit
on 21/03/11 at 5:02 pmWine
Booze News: You can read all about the incredible story that led to the suit: The Billionaire’s Vinegar
(Updates with judge’s comments beginning in the fourth paragraph.)
March 18 (Bloomberg) — Christie’s International Plc won dismissal of a lawsuit filed by billionaire collector William Koch that claimed the auction house “induced” him into buying counterfeit wine.
The complaint was filed last year in Manhattan federal court. Koch, who lives in Florida, claimed London-based Christie’s has sold counterfeit wine “for many years.”
U.S. District Judge Barbara Jones, in New York, today granted Christie’s motion to dismiss Koch’s suit, which included claims of fraud, civil conspiracy and aiding and abetting.
Jones said in her ruling that while Koch said he was injured by Christie’s “misrepresentations,” she concluded he also knew that the bottle “was counterfeit prior to making the purchase.”
“Here the cause of his injuries was not Christie’s’ misleading statements but plaintiff’s desire to gather evidence against Christie’s,” Jones said.
Koch alleged in his suit that he bought a bottle of 1870 Lafite for $4,200 at a Christie’s auction in order to prove that it was counterfeit. The judge rejected Koch’s arguments in his lawsuit. Koch has filed lawsuits against others claiming they sold him counterfeit wine that allegedly belonged to Jefferson was marked “Th.J.”
“Plaintiff alleges that Christie’s knowingly sold him a counterfeit bottle of wine in 2008,” Jones said in her ruling. “He alleges because Christie’s held a public auction and published catalogues, the act is sufficiently consumer- oriented.