PHILADELPHIA (Legal Newsline) — Actress Suzanne Somers and SLC Sweet have filed suit against QVC alleging it lured her into a deal as an attempt to remove her from the dietary supplement business and market its own supplement brands.
According to the civil action filed Oct. 15 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Suzanne Somers and SLC Sweet Inc. alleged breach of contract, violation of the Uniform Commercial Code, California's Business and Professions Code, promissory estoppel, intentional interference with contractual relations and violations of the Sherman Act against QVC Inc.
The plaintiffs claim they were lured away from selling their products through the home shopping retailer Evine and asked to enter into a form purchase order agreement with QVC - all while a merger between QVC and HSN appeared to already be in the works. The suit states HSN already had a dietary supplement brand partner, Andrew Lessman.
"(W)hen QVC merged with HSN, Mr. Lessman insisted that his exclusive contract as the only supplement vendor at HSN be extended to QVC, thereby forcing QVC to eliminate Ms. Somers as a vendor," the suit states. "The merger of HSN with QVC was done in order to enable QVC to gain extensive competitive advantages in the marketplace."
The plaintiffs allege they were "lured" into the agreement by QVC "in order to drive or 'starve' plaintiffs out of business by locking plaintiffs into the agreement and purposefully limiting its orders and/or ordering perishable products with the intent to cause plaintiffs harm by delaying and rejecting those products without a legitimate basis and at a time when such products became expired."
The plaintiffs seek more than $150,000 in compensatory damages as well as threefold damages and litigation costs.
The plaintiffs are represented by Robert Burke, Patric Gallo Jr. and Brian Forgue of MacElree Harvey LTD in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania case number 2:19-cv-04773-CFK