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Everlast Scores Round in Court, An Appeal Filed

NEW YORK — Everlast Worldwide Inc. won a technical knockout in New York Supreme Court, as the judge dismissed on summary judgement a lawsuit brought by Joan Hansen and Co., which filed an appeal on Tuesday.<br><br>Hansen, a nonexclusive licensing...

NEW YORK — Everlast Worldwide Inc. won a technical knockout in New York Supreme Court, as the judge dismissed on summary judgement a lawsuit brought by Joan Hansen and Co., which filed an appeal on Tuesday.

Hansen, a nonexclusive licensing consultant to Everlast, sought $49 million in damages, alleging the New York-based activewear maker was in breach of contract and that chief executive officer George Horowitz engaged in tortious interference.

In a 12-page decision dated Dec. 17 and reported by Everlast on Tuesday, the court ruled that Hansen’s “complaint fails to identify an existing contractual obligation that [Everlast’s subsidiary] has failed to perform.” The court also dismissed the tortious interference claim as being without merit.

The complaint stemmed from the October 2000 purchase by Active Apparel Group of Everlast World’s Boxing Headquarters Corp. The company then became known as Everlast Worldwide. Hansen had made commissions on royalties from the use of the Everlast brand name by Everlast World’s Boxing Headquarters Corp.

After the merger, the acquired licensee stopped paying royalties to its new subsidiary. In turn, Everlast stopped paying consulting and commission fees to Hansen. Active Apparel had been Everlast World’s Boxing’s chief licensee when it bought the company for $60 million in cash and stock.

Hansen’s attorney, George Berger of Phillips Nizer, said the plaintiff filed an appeal Tuesday regarding the contractual obligation complaint, but has dropped the allegations against Horowitz of “tortious interference.”

“We’re only appealing the part of the complaint where we think we have the best shot,” Berger said.