Answers (the procedural kind)

Answers to the complaints were filed in both the Bliss and Noro actions by the U.S. defendants (Bliss Answer, Noro Answer). The answers simply deny (mostly) the allegations in the complaints, admitting some non-contentious issues, and denying any knowledge of others.

There is not a lot to read between the lines here; however, one thing caught my eye. The answering defendants admitted, for example, that TKW “purchased hand knitting yarn from KFI spun with 12% cashmere”. Yarn that was spun with, not yarn “containing” or “comprising” (Noro Answer, paragraph 51). This is consistent with the rest of the answer, which does refer to the various tests of fiber composition that were made on the their behalf (or on behalf of someone in the supply chain) and says that the documents speak for themselves.

Some affirmative defences are also set out, including the assertion that the plaintiff had voluntarily assumed a known risk (presumably the risk that the goods were not what they purported to be?) and unclean hands (an equitable defence; where a plantiff seeks equitable relief from a court, the plaintiff itself should not have behaved inequitably itself in relation to the matter in dispute).

I’m not clear what the plaintiff’s inequitable conduct might have been, unless it was the subject of the counterclaims made by KFI: the plaintiff has “engaged in a course of conduct that, upon information and belief, is designed to impugn the reputation of KFI and disparage the quality of its yarn products” — pointing out in particular the yarn recall notice that TKW sent to its customers, and a May 2007 article that was published in The Chestnut Hill Local about the cashmere issue (if you do a Google search for relevant terms, you should be able to find the article). It is alleged that KFI experienced a loss of customers and sales as a result of TKW’s statements. So, KFI is claiming statutory defamation, disparagement, and tortious interference with both existing and prospective business relations.

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2 Responses to Answers (the procedural kind)

  1. hallie says:

    Interesting that it says “spun with 12% cashmere”. The manufacturer told me directly that he only puts 10% cashmere in the product but KFI puts 12% on the label. He said he cannot control what KFI does. Would be interesting to have them testify together.

  2. Carol says:

    Haha, good luck proving that. Not that many people read the Chestnut Hill local…..