CGC et al To Aggressively Defend Against Lawsuit Filed In Pennsylvania
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519 posts in this topic

6 minutes ago, MatterEaterLad said:

Perhaps this is a better breakdown. https://casetext.com/case/meyers-v-certified-guar-co

"Several employees of Heritage took part in an email chain in which they wrote to each other that the Meyers were "reprinting" comic books and that CGC would no longer be grading them. Because of these suspicions, Heritage made a decision not to auction any of the Meyers' restorations. Yet during discovery in the ensuing litigation, none of those Heritage employees could verify the truth of those assertions..." The implication is that this rumor began with CCS/CGC, also unsubstantiated. 

 

2 minutes ago, MatterEaterLad said:

That makes perfect sense. I think the allegation is that they didn't just stop grading them, they told Heritage that the Meyers' books were essentially fabrications, without actual proof, and this was when Matt Nelson was both a grader and president of CCS, so that conflict of interest just makes it messier. 

This passage from the Superior Court opinion sums up the crux of the matter very well (in legalese anyway) -- "In their individual capacities and as their corporate entity, Investment Grade Books, LLC, the Meyers alleged that the above conduct by CGC, CCS, Nelson and Heritage constituted defamation, false light, tortious interference with a contract and civil conspiracy."

The issue at hand goes far beyond CGC choosing not to grade their books with "questionable" restoration.

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1 hour ago, James J Johnson said:

Shouldn't the Meyers' real argument about CGC refusing to grade these be centered around the question of "how much of the original comic must be there to still be considered a comic?" Where's the cut-off? 10%? 25%? 50%? more? The Meyers appear to me to be very talented artists and paper mechanics, but personally, I've never seen this level of resto on anything before, and I'm talking about even books that Sue C. worked for many hours on, starting with sub-2.0 quality material and bringing it back up to Fine or above, apparently. If you can leaf cast a page, conveivably, you can leaf cast all of the pages, and I guess the cover too, right? How much of the original book has to be there for CGC to consider it a comic? That was always in the back of label text on CGC labels. "CGC guarantees that this is a comic.... etc." If their work falls below the CGC threshold for that grading qualification, "we guarantee this is a comic", that's the rules and them's the breaks.

Some mega-talented people, like Sue, have restored (recreated) books that were remaindered--with only half of the front cover. And then the back ad has been replaced by a different contemporaneous book.  So the cover wrap is essentially 25% of the original, and those have been graded by CGC. I don't know how the Meyers' books are much different than that? Maybe with the heavy gloss it just appears too inauthentic? Or the gloss masks the ability to put the cover on a light table and see where the pieces were added? Or just some personal falling out that led to talking trash about them? Oh, the drama... (shrug)

Edited by MatterEaterLad
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3 hours ago, MatterEaterLad said:

That makes perfect sense. I think the allegation is that they didn't just stop grading them, they told Heritage that the Meyers' books were essentially fabrications, without actual proof, and this was when Matt Nelson was both a grader and president of CCS, so that conflict of interest just makes it messier. 

If the CGC graders spoke to Heritage about what their feelings were towards the Meyers' work, what's wrong with that? CGC resto people should be able to lend their expertise especially if asked. Are the Heritage people making these decisions on what and what not to offer supposed to analyze these books for themselves? And if so, what is their expertise? They have to rely on the word of experts. If I were Heritage brass making decisions I'd think, "What in the name of God is this? Looks like someone painted a comic over a comic. Give them a ring over at CGC or CCS and let's get some intel on what we're looking at here". . 

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17 hours ago, James J Johnson said:

CGC resolved every possible argument, pro and con, from all angles, by deciding not to slab them. After all, it is their company, they are allowed to establish under their terms, what qualifies for and what doesn't qualify for encapsulation under a CGC label. That label bears their brand. They have every right to decline branding an item with their brand name, if it's not applicable. They decide what is and isn't, not the ones using the invaluable service they provide. Not their customers. It's CGC's decision. Just theirs, and IMO, it's a pragmatically valid one; a sound business decision based solely on their brand and their ethics. 

No they haven't. This has nothing to do with what they are being sued for. The claims sound in defamation, false light and tortious interference with business relationships.

Edited by seanfingh
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16 hours ago, James J Johnson said:

I see this as if I drove into a tire center  on April 1st with a square "wheel", asked them to mount a tire on it, to which they asked me, "This is a joke, right? Did our sales manager, Andy, put you up to this?", and I told them, "No. I need a tire for it", they responded, "we can't mount a tire on this rim", and I went straight to my lawyer to sue. It is what it is. They don't mount a tire on a square wheel. 

You are assuming that the work they did makes the items being submitted akin to "not comic books." Whether that is the case or not will likely be one of the key factual disputes in the case.

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13 hours ago, James J Johnson said:

If the CGC graders spoke to Heritage about what their feelings were towards the Meyers' work, what's wrong with that? CGC resto people should be able to lend their expertise especially if asked. Are the Heritage people making these decisions on what and what not to offer supposed to analyze these books for themselves? And if so, what is their expertise? They have to rely on the word of experts. If I were Heritage brass making decisions I'd think, "What in the name of God is this? Looks like someone painted a comic over a comic. Give them a ring over at CGC or CCS and let's get some intel on what we're looking at here". . 

Because feelings don't hold up in court. Apparently CGC didn't have proof. But I guess that's for a judge/jury to decide. 

If you posted on these boards that you feel someone is selling counterfeit books and they lose business, you'd better have proof or there could be legal recourse. It's the same thing.

Edited by MatterEaterLad
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14 minutes ago, MatterEaterLad said:

Because feelings don't hold up in court. Apparently CGC didn't have proof. But I guess that's for a judge/jury to decide. 

If you posted on these boards that you feel someone is selling counterfeit books and they lose business, you'd better have proof or there could be legal recourse. It's the same thing.

Not the same thing. CGC knows that they're not original books. They simply can't tell where the original material begins and the "reproduction" begins. The books in question aren't authentic.

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18 hours ago, seanfingh said:

Here is where the real problem lies - we (high end comic collectors and CGC customers) understand these concepts almost subconsciously - we know what wraps, leafcasting, restoration, near mint etc. mean.  It is quite an art to get a trier of fact (can be a judge or a jury)  to understand an industry with as much arcane terminology and tenuous connection to real life as comic collecting.  Whether this is tried to a judge or a jury, it will be difficult to present and difficult to educate them. It's hard enough in construction or manufacturing disputes, but the esoterica in this suit is almost unbelievable. 

I think it gets even more complicated (and possibly even divisive within the ranks of high end collectors/customers) by the very fact that a grader shouldn't assume the position as arbiter of determining which service should be performed on a comic if it's something being requested by a paying customer. I can frown all day knowing CGC now has a 'fixer' within it's own company that they get to grade to their benefit, and potentially even rewards that work higher than someone performing the same work external to their operations, but for every person like me, there's maybe 100 that it makes happy that CGC and other third-party's perform this service. Following this to the path of logical conclusion, defining a practice causing a detriment to the hobby is not as easy to explain or define when a practice is fine with one collector, and not with another. I've always felt that leafcasting is a good counterpoint to the whole issue with IGB and CGC's claim they couldn't detect where the resto started and ended. I wouldn't do leafcasting on any book for the same reason, and yet, there are paying customers who do want it. Me even stating this on a public message board with members here who might not only perform such work, but have possibly ordered it, might be viewed as an affront to their work and preferences, so imagine when you start to look at the interference of not allowing an entity to carry out their service and even possibly have them blacklisted from having their work sold at a consignment or auction house. I do believe if you explain it from this viewpoint, the IGB argument at the very least seems reasonable, and not entirely without merit. 2c

Edited by comicwiz
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4 hours ago, MatterEaterLad said:

. if you posted on these boards that you feel someone is selling counterfeit books and they lose business, you'd better have proof or there could be legal recourse. It's the same thing.

I called them counterfeit? Where exactly did I do that? Love to see it. 

Edited by James J Johnson
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*facepalm*

It was a hypothetical example. Not an accusation. 

Let me rephrase: "If someone posted on these boards, without proof, that a certain dealer was selling counterfeit books, and that dealer's business was hurt by those posts, that dealer could have legal recourse against the poster."

That's a similar situation to this lawsuit. IGB says their business was hurt because of falsehoods, so they're seeking damages against the originator and perpetuators of those falsehoods.

Easier to understand?

 

Edited by MatterEaterLad
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5 hours ago, comicwiz said:

Following this to the path of logical conclusion, defining a practice causing a detriment to the hobby is not as easy to explain or define when a practice is fine with one collector, and not with another. I've always felt that leafcasting is a good counterpoint to the whole issue with IGB and CGC's claim they couldn't detect where the resto started and ended. I wouldn't do leafcasting on any book for the same reason, and yet, there are paying customers who do want it.

Yes, being a long time collector when all of these practices were seen as restoration, isn't leaf casting really nothing more than a more sophiscated technique of adding pieces back to a book.  Seems to be endorsed by the boys at CGC as this leaf casting procedure is seen as Conservation according to their updated Restoration Grading Scale, as opposed to the the much dread PLOD Restoration.  Seems that many of the board members here were actually quite enthusiastic with this practice when it was being discussed here:  :devil:

As such, isn't what IGB doing then really nothing more than an extension or the next step to be taken in order to finish off the book after it has been leaf casted?  hm  (shrug)

Edited by lou_fine
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