A furniture company has accused The Door Store and its chief executive, a Rye resident, of cancelling its contracts and paying a competitor to supply products copied from its own designs.
John Kelly Furniture Design Inc. of Oceanside, N.Y. made the charges in a lawsuit filed in New York state Supreme Court in Manhattan this month. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from Furniture-In-Parts Corp., doing business as The Door Store, and President and Chief Executive Officer Jodi Brinkman Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald could not be reached at her Forest Avenue home in Rye, and she did not return a call to The Door Storeâ€™s headquarters in Secaucus, N.J.
Mitchell Greene, a Manhattan attorney for The Door Store, denied the lawsuitâ€™s charges and said his client planned a vigorous defense.
In the lawsuit, John Kelly said Fitzgeraldâ€™s company had bought more than $1 million in furniture from the business between December 2004 and February 2008. Fitzgerald asked a John Kelly competitor, California-based Ligna USA Inc., to duplicate pieces from John Kellyâ€™s Tranquility collection of bedroom furniture, court papers said.
Fitzgerald shipped some Tranquility pieces to a Ligna plant in Indonesia so they could be copied, John Kelly charged. Ligna is also a defendant in the case. The Ligna furniture that The Door Store eventually bought is â€œvirtually identicalâ€ to the Tranquility line, the lawsuit said.