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."