Tuesday, August 26, 2008

All 3 Gee's Bend Lawsuits - DISMISSED

There will be no jury trial in the cases of Annie Mae Young, Loretta Pettway, and Lucinda Pettway Franklin vs. Tinwood Ventures, et al.

Chief United States District Judge Callie V. S. Grandade declared all three Gee's Bend lawsuits "DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE." This means there was a good reason to dismiss the cases. The plaintiffs, in this case Mrs. Young, Mrs. Pettway, and Mrs. Franklin, can not refile a "new lawsuit within the same jurisdiction based on the same facts, or bring this same issues forward..." What we don't know is if the cases were dismissed because settlements were reached. You may recall that all parties were in discussions as late as last month.

Bob Johnson for the Associated Press reported on Aug 25, 2008:
"Attorneys for both parties asked for the lawsuits to be dismissed but they would not give any details of how the claims were resolved....

"The lawsuits claimed that three of the quilters — Annie Mae Young, Lucinda Pettway Franklin and Loretta Pettway — were cheated financially by Atlanta art dealer William Arnett, his sons, Paul and Matt Arnett, and Tinwood Ventures of Atlanta.

The Arnetts helped establish a collective for the quilters and promoted and marketed their works to a wider audience.

U.S. District Judge Callie Granade of Mobile dismissed the suits in an order issued Monday and said the parties would pay their own legal costs.

An attorney representing the quilters, Peter Burke of Birmingham, said the lawsuits "have been resolved." He would not elaborate.

An attorney for the defendants, Greg Hawley of Birmingham, would only say that his clients "are pleased the cases have been dismissed."

Franklin claimed in her lawsuit that the Arnett family stole from her two quilts that she said were more than 100 years old. Pettway claimed she was tricked into signing a copyright document, even though she could not read."


Reverend Lutionary Church Leader said...

I enjoyed your blog!

Karoda said...

i hope this means the best for the women, truly, i hope it means the best!

congrats on having your quilt hang by such notables! of course you are a notable to me, so it all seems in order! so go ahead, dust your shoulder off :)

Big Mama said...


Like karoda, I pray that there was an equitable settlement.

Are there currently major Gee's Bend showings around the country.

Lori said...


I really enjoyed going thru your 2 blogs, very interesting information. I didn't know this lawsuit happened with Gee Bend Quilts.
Thank you for stopping at my blog, and leaving a comment.

Delta said...

I'm guessing the lawsuits were settled to everyone's satisfaction since Dindy Yokel slipped up and posted on the QuiltArt list that the suits had been "settled" and then came back and corrected herself to say they were "dismissed" instead.

Anonymous said...

Kyra, thank you for keeping us up to date. I am an attorney and wanted to clarify what 'dismissed with prejudice' means. This means that the lawsuit cannot be brought again. From the comments of the attorneys, it sounds like they did reach a monetary settlement and that both sides are pleased with the terms. It is not unusual that in these cases, the parties agree to keep the terms of the agreement secret. Usually it is the defendant who asks for this, as the defendant does not want others to know how much money they paid to the plaintiffs.

Pamela Price Klebaum

DNLee said...

Some Gee's Bend Quilts are coming to St. Louis for an exhibit at our History Museum. I still don't fully understand the controversy, but thanks to your blog I was at least familiar with the GBQ when I saw it listed in the Missouri History Museum newsletter for upcoming exhibits.