LOS ANGELES — Sherwin (Ace) Ross, former president of One Clothing, a division of O&K Inc., filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday against his former employer, alleging breach of contract and fraud. He is seeking more than $20 million in damages.
“The company [O&K] had a contract with Ace, in which they promised to pay him 10 percent of all sales from mid-1995 through September 2000 and they did not,” Norman L. Pearl, an attorney representing Ross, told WWD. “They flatly breached the contract.”
Pearl said that O&K also committed fraud when it failed to uphold a promise that it would make Ross a full partner in the company if he deferred payment on some of the commissions that were owed to him.
Ross, who joined the company as an independent contractor in 1995, was given a 60-day notice of termination by O&K in September, according to Pearl, who added that Ross is not contesting the termination in the suit.
Mark Brutzkus, an attorney representing O&K, said that he had not seen a copy of the complaint.
“It appears that it has no merit,” he noted, adding that he had discussed the suit with O&K, which had received a copy. “He [Ross] was terminated and it was done amicably.”
Ross helped develop the company as a branded label with annual sales expected to reach $100 million this year. Under his tenure, the firm changed its name from Pandora Casuals to One Clothing and moved its headquarters to New York, although much of the production remains here.