NFL suit says company failed to pay for goods

March 04, 1994|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Sun Staff Writer

The NFL is suing a Westminster sports marketing company over nearly $32,000 worth of sports memorabilia that the league says the company hasn't paid for.

National Football League Properties Inc. -- the league's marketing arm -- filed the two-count suit this week in Carroll Circuit Court against Locker Room Communications Inc. of the 100 block of E. Main St.

At issue are deliveries of sports merchandise items to Locker Room Communications between Jan. 15 and March 17, 1993. The items included 135 cartons of Super Bowl XXVII programs, 30 cases of portraits and 125 football-shaped bowls. The total value of goods is $31,785, the suit states.

Ben Higgs of Locker Room Communications said yesterday that his company has been trying to return the goods to the NFL for months.

Locker Room borrowed the products to promote a commemorative book on the NFL that the Westminster company was marketing, he said.

"We never had an agreement with them to buy or sell that stuff," Mr. Higgs said. "We have been trying to ship the stuff back to them, and they say they don't want to take it back."

Mr. Higgs said the merchandise is unsold and unused.

Locker Room was promoting "Sidelines," a coffee table book that chronicles the NFL's teams, Mr. Higgs said. The book, which has sold nearly 60,000 copies, includes 11 chapters written by the country's best sports columnists, along with sections on the league's teams, he said.

He said that he had not seen the NFL suit but that Locker Room Communications will contest it.

Josef E. Rosenblatt, a Baltimore attorney who represents the league, said yesterday, "I'm sorry to say that this is just a simple collection matter. It doesn't involve the Baltimore Colts; it doesn't involve anything sexy. It is simply garden-variety litigation."

No trial date has been set.

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