By  on March 3, 2010

A judge has ordered Kohl’s Corp. to pay $1.4 million to an apparel vendor after a federal jury found against the department store operator in a chargeback dispute.

Fu Da International Ltd. brought a breach of contract lawsuit against the Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based retailer in June 2008. In the complaint, the New York-based athleticwear manufacturer alleged that Kohl’s had improperly deducted $1,028,000 from its open invoices for margin support related to the fall 2007 season. Fu Da said it had never agreed to the deduction and later objected to the retailer’s request for another, similar payment of $400,000. The vendor alleged that Kohl’s then canceled orders and failed to pay outstanding invoices.

A jury found the chargeback to be improper and awarded Fu Da $1,028,000 after a five-day trial in U.S. District Court in Manhattan in December. Judge Harold Baer entered the judgment into the court record on Monday.

Representatives for Kohl’s did not return requests for comment Tuesday. According to Baer’s judgment, the jury denied the retailer’s counterclaims that Fu Da had agreed to the charges by signing its vendor support agreement.

In addition to the chargeback award, the jury granted Fu Da $38,699.20 for unpaid orders. The manufacturer’s attorney, Jed Schlacter, said Tuesday that Kohl’s separately paid more than $820,000 for the bulk of its outstanding invoices shortly before the trial began in December.

When calculated with interest, Fu Da’s award totaled $1.4 million.

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