Judge to Westporters: Pay $545K for refusing to return rented furniture
Updated 3:52 pm, Tuesday, July 7, 2015
A Westport couple liked the furniture that was staged to sell their $3.7 million home so much that they kept it.
And now a judge says they have to pay a hefty price for it.
“This was high-end furniture used to stage the house for sale, and the couple just kept it,” said Fairfield lawyer Anthony LaBella, who represents Meribear Productions of California. “We had trucks there twice to pick it up, but they kept putting obstacles in our way.”
Following a trial, Superior Court JudgeTheodore Tyma in Bridgeport ordered George and Joan Frank to pay Meribear $545,000 for keeping the furniture. They could not be reached for comment.
According to the lawsuit, the Franks in March 2011 contracted with Meribear, a company that stages luxury homes for sale around the nation, to provide furniture, antiques, art, rugs and even potted plants so the couple could sell their 7,000-square-foot home at 3 Cooper Lane.
The Franks paid the company $19,000 to rent the items for four months. But the couple did not return the furniture and other items after the four months, according to court records. In fact, they didn’t return them after selling the home last year for $3.7 million, the records state.
“At this point, the furniture is no longer any good to the company,” LaBella said. “It is no longer suitable for staging because people want new furniture in their homes they are selling and this furniture is now considered used.”