Martha Stewart to Testify Tuesday in Macy’s-Penney Case

Martha Stewart will testify Feb. 26 in the trial of Macy’s (M) Inc.’s lawsuits that seek to block an agreement she made with J.C. Penney Co. (JCP) to sell her goods in its department stores.

Macy’s Chief Executive Officer Terry Lundgren is scheduled to testify Feb. 25 in the state-court trial in Manhattan, and J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson is expected to be a witness on March 1, New York Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Oing said at the conclusion of yesterday’s proceedings. Oing will decide the case without a jury.

Macy’s, based in Cincinnati, sued Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO) Inc. in January 2012 to stop it from going ahead with an agreement with J.C. Penney announced the previous month. Macy’s said it has the exclusive right to sell Stewart’s branded bedding and cookware.

Oing granted an injunction to Macy’s last year to prevent the Penney agreement from going forward while the case proceeds. Macy’s sued J.C. Penney in the same court in August, claiming tortious interference and unfair competition.

Martha Stewart Living, based in New York, defended its deal with J.C. Penney, saying that Macy’s breached their contract by favoring private-label brands over Stewart’s.

J.C. Penney, based in Plano, Texas, acquired a 17 percent stake in Martha Stewart Living for $38.5 million in 2011.

The cases are Macy’s Inc. v. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc., 650197/2012, and Macy’s Inc. v. J.C. Penney Corp., 652861/2012, New York State Supreme Court (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: Don Jeffrey in New York at djeffrey1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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