Fashion house Prada, which sells high-end alligator designs, has been pulled deeper into a $2 million legal dispute over 700 young alligators and 26 full-grown alligators.
According to the lawsuit, filed in a Florida state court late last year and served upon Prada in February, Capo-USA alleges that it entered into an agreement with Prada - and a related entity, GNP Pelli - to “purchase American alligator hides and alligator hatchlings” to make accessories.
Arbitration request denied
Responding to the complaint, Prada asked to have the case removed to a federal court in Florida and then transferred to arbitration in Milan. However, last Thursday a Florida federal judge refused Prada’s request. US District Judge Cecilia Altonaga denied a joint motion for reconsideration filed by Prada SpA, GNP Pelli di Pezzoli Gian Andrea and Donald Farms saying the court is not convinced they 'cannot possibly file' a combined responsive motion to the suit brought by shipper Capo-USA.
Supply chain 'circumvented'
Prada chose Capo-USA to locate suppliers, facilitate the relationships and ship to ltaly on its behalf. In exchange, Capo-USA was to be paid a commission of five per cent on the sales of hides. However, Capo-USA alleges that last year Prada cut it out of a multi-million dollar deal by unjustifiably interfering with its relationship with the growers' and circumventing commissioning arrangements to avoid paying commissions. Damages up to $2 million are being sought.