Sears secures injunction in Focus suit

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Sears, Roebuck & Co. has obtained a preliminary injunction in its lawsuit against Focus Media, provided the retailer pay all media invoices for January and February and put up a $500,000 bond. Judge Patricia L. Collins of California Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles said Sears has shown "a probability of prevailing" in a key argument, its assertion that Focus was an agent of Sears. Focus has contended it technically is not Sears' agent. The judge also said in the April 10 ruling that Focus does not dispute that Sears has already paid Focus for media billings from October through December 1999. But the judge noted, "Should Focus fail to pay these 1999 invoices, Focus will be unjustly enriched by the wrongful detention of the sums already paid by Sears in payment of the 1999 time." The judge noted Focus already has the benefit of the 90 day float on the billings involved. Sears last month fired Focus and sued the media buying company; Focus countersued, saying Sears had stuck it with $20 million in media bills for media bought since last November.

Copyright April 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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