NEW YORK — The Century 21 discount store has filed a lawsuit against a distributor, charging it sold the store counterfeit Prada handbags and seeking damages of at least $138,284.
Century 21, which has one store in downtown Manhattan and one in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, said in papers filed in Manhattan Federal Court that in May it agreed to pay $283,000 for the women’s handbags from Felco Bros., a distributor based in Miami, Fla., after being assured by Felco of their authenticity.
In early August, according to the suit, the owners of the Prada trademark — Prefel SA, Prafin BV and IPI USA Corp. — notified Century 21 that numerous items in the store carrying Prada trademarks were counterfeit. Some of the Felco items had already been sold. Trademark representatives revisited the stores in early September and determined that much of the unsold Prada merchandise was counterfeit, the suit says.
Century 21 said Felco has refused to accept the remaining unsold Prada merchandise and refund amounts previously paid. The damages sought by Century 21, it says, is for costs of removing the remaining unsold merchandise from the stores and amounts paid to the trademark owners for having sold fake Prada merchandise.
Felco Bros. could not be reached for comment.