Blumenthal, bankrupt company disagree about gift cards

John O'Brien Jan. 8, 2010, 2:35pm


HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal wants a company going through bankruptcy to honor gift cards.

One day after declaring his candidacy for U.S. Senate, Blumenthal said Thursday that Ski Market shouldn't have sold gift cards so close to its Dec. 29 bankruptcy filing and should accept gift cards as payment to preserve consumer trust during its reorganization.

"Ski Market is dooming itself even as it seeks to reorganize -- destroying consumer confidence by denying gift cards and deposits and reneging on commitments," Blumenthal said.

"We are urgently asking the bankruptcy court to compel Ski Market to honor its promises and respect all gift cards and outstanding deposits owed to consumers as it works to sell its stores."

According to a report in the Hartford Courant, Ski Market's attorney said paying the company's creditors is a bigger priority.

"We don't have an ability to fund payments lower in priority than the bank, which is what these folks are who hold gift cards," Joseph Baldiga said, according to the report.

"The best bet we have now is we have a buyer show up and they want to maintain the goodwill" by honoring the cards, he said.

Blumenthal said there is reportedly at least $200,000 in unredeemed gift cards.

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