CGC et al To Aggressively Defend Against Lawsuit Filed In Pennsylvania
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To the CGC Community:

 

For purposes of transparency we thought it important to inform everyone that on December 13, 2016, CGC was sued in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County by Matthew & Emily Meyers, as well as by their business Investment Grade Books, LLC ("IGB"). Also named as defendants were CCS, Matt Nelson and Heritage Auctions, Inc. We just received the Complaint three days ago.

 

In all five claims were asserted against the defendants. The Meyers claim (1) Defamation and (2) False Light, while IGB alleges (3) Intentional Interference with Existing Business Relations and (4) Intentional Interference with Prospective Contractual Relations. Both the Meyers and IGB are jointly pursuing a claim of (5) Civil Conspiracy. Rather than provide all the specific details, and because we believe it is important the community is aware of this action, I am providing a link of the full Complaint for everyone's review:

 

https://www.docdroid.net/Dx6w7uS/complaint.pdf.html

 

On behalf of CGC, CCS and Matt, rest assured we find the allegations to be false and completely baseless. We will not just defend ourselves against this lawsuit but actually fight aggressively. We welcome the opportunity to prove before a court of law that the accusations are frivolous.

 

Many of you may recognize some of the allegations as having been the subject of discussion in this Gold Comics thread entitled "There's a Restored 9.4 Tec 33 Blowing up on Ebay" from 2015-16 where the Meyers posted under the username "igb":

 

http://boards.collectors-society.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=9083257&fpart=1

 

We take our commitment to this community very seriously, and we stand by our services and product 100%. That is why I will keep the community abreast of what transpires in the lawsuit, but please understand that given the nature of litigation I might not be able to respond to your questions. But at the appropriate times I will post further explanations and evidence.

 

If anyone has any relevant information to share, please feel free to contact me at Mark@MarkZaid.com.

 

From the CGC family, we wish everyone a very happy holiday season.

 

Mark S. Zaid, Esq.

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Imo, this discussion board provides an invaluable tool for collectors and comic book/art investors for information not otherwise available elsewhere, on the internet or otherwise.

 

Frankly to even call some of those reconstructions a "comic book" should end up with someone, any seller who calls them such, as defendant after being sued by a purchaser for fraud, allegedly I mean. At best they should fairly be called "replicas,", unless perhaps greater than 2/3 of the comic is original, and then a % of original material should be disclosed, to avoid the taint of "fraud in the inducement."

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I read a lot of legal filings, but does anyone else think there's a lot of 'opinions' and subjective terminology in this filing? Maybe some lawyers can weigh in. I understand letting the plantiffs write most of the complaint as they're the 'experts', but shouldn't there be some type of lawyerly editing or advice given on how the actual document reads?

 

"Come to its senses", "absurd", "beautifully restored", opinions on why IGB books received higher scores than CCS books, etc.

 

To make all these claims, you risk being asked about them by opposing counsel or a judge.

 

I don't know what the truth is, but judging by the way this complaint was written, and the type of evidence I'd want to see if I were a judge, I wouldn't be an optimistic plaintiff.

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It depends on how you read through that thread. Certainly seems like a who's who of people who have historically demonstrated a pattern to back CGC and Matt Nelson. Propping-up CGC as the saviour of the hobby for not grading IGB's work is troubling, especially when it's being distorted in the manner it was in that thread, and when you consider the following:

 

We don't currently grade with CGC, though we use to. When we did, they always graded our books and graded them very high - I will post a few of our key books in CGC slabs.

 

We don't grade as much with CGC currently because we don't want our proprietary techniques in the hands of CCS - the industry leader and our direct competition...

 

We have found that CGC and CBCS grade almost identical. I will also post the same AF15 graded by both companies last winter - both CGC and CBCS graded it 9.4.

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One of the interesting paragraphs is the claim that "before a book is sold, it must be graded." That is not true in any regard.

 

If they do choose to grade the book with CGC, they only pay for CGC's opinion of what the grade is. And what CGC's opinion of the resto is.

 

The sexy part of the claim is the idea that CCS purposefully, and with an eye toward protecting its own techniques and supply of business, harmed the business reputation of the Plaintiffs. And since everyone is in bed with everyone, it will take work to extricate CGC and Heritage.

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I read a lot of legal filings, but does anyone else think there's a lot of 'opinions' and subjective terminology in this filing? Maybe some lawyers can weigh in. I understand letting the plantiffs write most of the complaint as they're the 'experts', but shouldn't there be some type of lawyerly editing or advice given on how the actual document reads?

 

"Come to its senses", "absurd", "beautifully restored", opinions on why IGB books received higher scores than CCS books, etc.

 

To make all these claims, you risk being asked about them by opposing counsel or a judge.

 

I don't know what the truth is, but judging by the way this complaint was written, and the type of evidence I'd want to see if I were a judge, I wouldn't be an optimistic plaintiff.

 

I don't want to comment much in this thread, but let me say that the plaintiff does not draft his/her complaint, that's done by the lawyer. I'm sure Mr. Beasley (or an associate) drafted this complaint, with some review and input from their clients.

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It's a verified complaint. That comes with quite a heightened responsibility for factual accuracy compared to basic notice pleading.

 

In common pleas in Philadelphia? meh. You're right over notice pleading, but this complaint is accurate enough.

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It was only a matter of time to the dispute of conflict of interests was brought up. As soon as I read whatever update it was about Nelson moving to head grader at CGC I saw it coming. Personally I think it was in the back of everyone's mind and think it was mentioned a couple times on these boards. That listed in that document as one of the complaints. I am no expert in law but I see that getting interesting.

 

Mark who would have to prove their side on this part of the case the person making the complaint or the defendant?

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15. Defendant CGC further operates the largest comic book collector's forum on the internet called "Collector's Society," where it controls the substance, content, and message of discussions.

 

 

What?!

 

:D

 

What a dumb waste of time. These people are insufficiently_thoughtful_persons. :facepalm:

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It's a verified complaint. That comes with quite a heightened responsibility for factual accuracy compared to basic notice pleading.

 

 

Anyone else notice the healthy amounts of "On information and belief" used in the allegations right before the entire thing is verified under penalty of perjury?

 

Normally the "information and belief" language is to allow yourself room in case something needs to be changed or altered later without having the difficulty of a sworn statement of accuracy hanging out there. Not that they can't make good faith alterations later but the bar (no pun intended) is higher and there had better be a good explanation if they can't prove every single assertion, statement, and allegation in every paragraph of that complaint.

 

Lots of statements are attributed in a vague way to a large group of people and no one in particular. I am not used to seeing something this broad in a verified complaint.

 

I'll be interested to read more.

 

 

 

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It was only a matter of time to the dispute of conflict of interests was brought up. As soon as I read whatever update it was about Nelson moving to head grader at CGC I saw it coming. Personally I think it was in the back of everyone's mind and think it was mentioned a couple times on these boards. That listed in that document as one of the complaints. I am no expert in law but I see that getting interesting.

I believe Mark was retained (in some fashion) by CGC to provide independent oversight that no conflict of interest would arise from CGC hiring Matt Nelson to do restoration work for them on the "restoration side" and then CGC subsequently grading those same books on the "grading side". Dunno, sounds like the complaint is related to just that issue, so Mark would know what's going on. (shrug)

 

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15. Defendant CGC further operates the largest comic book collector's forum on the internet called "Collector's Society," where it controls the substance, content, and message of discussions.

 

 

What?!

 

:D

 

What a dumb waste of time. These people are insufficiently_thoughtful_persons. :facepalm:

 

I was struck by this also, on one level it is untrue. CGC has a "negative voice" vis a vis members content, they can delete but they cannot tell members what to say or think. The recent drama over the new slabs is an example of the limitations of "control", they could delete entire threads, but they could not stop dissent.

 

However, I believe this phrase has more specifically to do with their allegation that CGC had deleted posts that were supposedly otherwise favourable to the plaintiffs- and it is a way also to call into question the value of any information on the Boards unfavourable to the plaintiffs. 2c

 

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For those of us who are not familiar with this, could someone explain the situation in basic terms?

 

There's a back story about which I'm clueless, sorry. That story involves the people and personalities underlying the cause of action (or allegations, anyway).

 

But on the surface there is a company that restores the top key comics into "9.4" graded condition.

 

Some have called them "Frankenstein" books because constructed from different parts to create a monster.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Detective-Comics-33-CBCS-9-4-Restored-WHITE-Pedigree-Single-Highest-Graded-/141860053585?hash=item210784a251:g:KlsAAOSw5IJWezps&rmvSB=true

 

There was a long thread about one such comic, that evolved into a general discussion of these 9.4 books in general (see op for link).

 

Here's one they sold most recently:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Strange-Tales-110-CBCS-9-4-OWW-Slight-Professional-1st-Dr-Strange-Not-CGC-PGX-/142122334957?hash=item211726baed:g:iL8AAOSwknJXyvGV

 

The seller of that comic is one of the plaintiffs, understandably aggrieved because they don't seem to be able to sell these "comic books" for the same coin as before people began to more thoroughly question how much is original comic and how much is restored?

 

Which in turn would probably erode its ability to find new clients for the "upgrade" resto to a 9.4. This is america so they gotta sue *somebody*.

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For those of us who are not familiar with this, could someone explain the situation in basic terms?
Butthurt
Industrial?
You're here, so I would assume so. :D
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