'Knockoff' trial jurors admit buying counterfeit merchandise

Dec. 3, 2013 at 5:05 PM   |   0 comments

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Dec. 3 (UPI) -- Potential jurors in a lawsuit claiming a South Florida flea market sold knockoffs of brand-name goods told attorneys they had bought counterfeit merchandise.

The numerous admissions by members of the jury pool forced the judge to pull in potential jurors intended for another civil trial, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Monday.

Designer brand Coach filed suit against the Swap Shop in Fort Lauderdale and its owners, Preston and Betty Henn, over sales of counterfeit Coach merchandise at the establishment.

One woman, who was excused from serving on the jury, admitted she had bought a fake Coach purse "because I didn't really realize it was illegal."

A flight attendant said she had bought a Coach knockoff in New York's Chinatown.

The Henns' attorneys say their clients have attempted to prevent knockoffs from being sold at the flea market, which includes a 14-screen drive-in theater. They accuse Coach of not helping them reduce the problem.

If Coach wins, the flea market could be forced to pay damages of between $1,000 to $2 million for each counterfeit item sold.

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