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Devilsguy

London Knights Accused of Auctioning Off Fake Game Worn Jersey(s)

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1 hour ago, Devilsguy said:

I think a large chunk of the lawsuit amount is for punitive damages for faking the jersey and putting him through the gauntlet.  Depending on the judge/jury I could see him getting at least something for punitive damages.

Re: bolded - Before you subpoena me that actually a depends lol.  Yes many times auctions cause people to overpay as you get non-collectors involved, but sometimes you can get good deals on them (the Albany Devils camo jersey auction proved that as it was held with little notice, short listing time ~5 days, and was done in the middle of August).  If the only way to get Mitch Marner jerseys up to this point was through auctions (which is what a lot of junior/minor league teams do), then the only references you have for price are the auctions where it could be inflated or low.  Would I pay that much for a guy who has never played a minute yet in the NHL?  Personally no, but looks like someone else would.  If the team made his jerseys available for sale for say $2K a pop, then unless you can clearly explain why the auction jersey is worth the $2K premium over his regular jersey, then you will have a hard time convincing someone it's worth that much.

Yes, $80,000 in punitive damages. Which is a joke considering its a $4,000 item. 

Additionally, that means he sued for $20,000 for the $4,000 jersey. 

And I am confident I could examine you in a manner which would result in your stating on the stand, under oath, that the Marner jersey is not worth $4,000 at this time, and depending what happens, it could wind up being worth a couple hundred bucks. 

In any event, a court is not going to award someone $80,000 in punitive damages because they were sold a fake game worn jersey. MAYBE they double the damages and award him $8,000. 

40 minutes ago, Dr_Puck said:

What I find fascinating was that it was a serious collector who purchased the jersey and noticed this. He has that knowledge to instantly smell BS, particularly with the markings on the jersey he received. It makes me wonder what fans without that knowledge would do in similar circumstances.

Well given that it was a $4,000 jersey, I'd hope it was a serious collector! Any fan who has an extra $4,000 to spend on something they DON'T collect is doing way better than I am!!

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Just now, Devilsguy said:

That's the thing, they wouldn't know.  That's why gamers without LOA's are harder to sell as you reach less of an audience who don't collect and don't know how to read jerseys and they rely on the all-mighty LOA to "prove" the authenticity.  If I was a fan of the London Knights and wasn't a collector and have won previous auctions of gamers, if the team is found to fake this gamer then basically all of the LOA's issued by the team instantly become worthless.

That's the real issue here. They can't be trusted. Although through photo matching (has to be harder for a non-NHL team...less pictures I would assume) you could still establish that wear is real, you really have to question it. 

If they are going to fake wear on jerseys, the only good way to do it is toss the jersey on an intern or something and fire pucks at him until you have "real" wear. The wear on that Marner jersey is nonsense, I don't even collect game worn and I can see that. They might as well have drawn it on with a crayon. 

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6 minutes ago, mfitz804 said:

That's the real issue here. They can't be trusted. Although through photo matching (has to be harder for a non-NHL team...less pictures I would assume) you could still establish that wear is real, you really have to question it. 

If they are going to fake wear on jerseys, the only good way to do it is toss the jersey on an intern or something and fire pucks at him until you have "real" wear. The wear on that Marner jersey is nonsense, I don't even collect game worn and I can see that. They might as well have drawn it on with a crayon. 

Most teams who do the program themselves don't have the equipment manager market them, but some employee or even an intern who has no clue as to what he/she is doing.  If they were smart they would have asked the equipment manager how to fake the wear properly, but it looks like they didn't.

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Those who are curious and have an internet radio app like tunein radio (or Toronto locals), this is being talked about on AM 640 

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The other issue is, now that there is a bunch of media coverage, and everyone knows the Knights and their LOA's can't be trusted, what incentive do they have to settle? Their reputation is already destroyed. 

I'd be interested to hear how this one turns out, but as stated above, it'll probably settle with a confidentiality agreement and we'll never know. 

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18 minutes ago, mfitz804 said:

Yes, $80,000 in punitive damages. Which is a joke considering its a $4,000 item. 

Additionally, that means he sued for $20,000 for the $4,000 jersey. 

And I am confident I could examine you in a manner which would result in your stating on the stand, under oath, that the Marner jersey is not worth $4,000 at this time, and depending what happens, it could wind up being worth a couple hundred bucks. 

In any event, a court is not going to award someone $80,000 in punitive damages because they were sold a fake game worn jersey. MAYBE they double the damages and award him $8,000. 

Well given that it was a $4,000 jersey, I'd hope it was a serious collector! Any fan who has an extra $4,000 to spend on something they DON'T collect is doing way better than I am!!

And you're right and that's the tricky part.  How do you accurately describe the value to a judge, jury, insurer or even someone else not in the hobby?  All jerseys are worth the price that they sold as an authentic by Reebok or whoever the manufacturer is.  The hard part is explaining why it's worth more after it was worn by someone.  That's a value that is basically determined by the market who place a value on it due to demand.

Years ago there was a scammer on eBay who scammed not only a lot of game worn jersey folks, but Meigray as well.  Barry went on to explain on the old GW.net forums how this scammer cost them thousands of dollars as well as several jerseys.  Barry also explained how difficult it was to explain to their insurer why one jersey cost x and why another jersey cost y as the adjuster just saw them for literally how much they cost to make.  I think that thread is still on there via a search.

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1 hour ago, Hollywood Cannon said:

So after all this can't the Knights say "Here's your money but you're no longer allowed to attend any Knight's games."?

Yes and no.  They offered him a refund and he didn't accept it.  He is well within his right to sue for what he feels is rightfully his.  The Knights can't just give him his money back and have the lawsuit go away.  Saying that the Knights can tell him he is no longer allowed to attend their games but I think that would expose themselves to another lawsuit for discrimination maybe.

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1 hour ago, mfitz804 said:

The other issue is, now that there is a bunch of media coverage, and everyone knows the Knights and their LOA's can't be trusted, what incentive do they have to settle? Their reputation is already destroyed. 

I'd be interested to hear how this one turns out, but as stated above, it'll probably settle with a confidentiality agreement and we'll never know. 

Yup, like I said before this ones getting settled out of court and the settlement will not be made public.  I do not have any legal experience or education and know this is how it's going to turn out.  That and a handfull of London Knights employees are going to be looking for new jobs.

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Definitely a PR headache for the team. Longterm, this may make people think twice about what's a gamer and what's not a gamer when they buy from a team.

I'm sure the guy wants to keep this in his collection. However, this does point to questions about reselling gamers on the secondary market. I would like to think that we are all (in the forum) going to be clear in indicating if a jersey is authentic, GI, or a gamer. Yet there's always a possibility for either a message and details about a jersey to get lost or an unscrupulous seller to simply make up stuff. This is precisely why I appreciate MeiGray, I know what I'm getting with a jersey, even on resale.

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3 hours ago, Devilsguy said:

And you're right and that's the tricky part.  How do you accurately describe the value to a judge, jury, insurer or even someone else not in the hobby?  All jerseys are worth the price that they sold as an authentic by Reebok or whoever the manufacturer is.  The hard part is explaining why it's worth more after it was worn by someone.  That's a value that is basically determined by the market who place a value on it due to demand.

Years ago there was a scammer on eBay who scammed not only a lot of game worn jersey folks, but Meigray as well.  Barry went on to explain on the old GW.net forums how this scammer cost them thousands of dollars as well as several jerseys.  Barry also explained how difficult it was to explain to their insurer why one jersey cost x and why another jersey cost y as the adjuster just saw them for literally how much they cost to make.  I think that thread is still on there via a search.

By presenting evidence of comparable sales and/or by bringing in an expert witness to give testimony as to its value. We do it in all kinds of cases all the time. Good example is proving the value of parental guidance to a child in an accident case in which the parent has been killed. You and I have no idea how to put a number on that, but there are expert economists that do that for a living. 

Of course, it would still be up to the finder of fact whether or not they believe the witness. 

I would add, though, with relatively few Marner game worn jerseys available, it might be more difficult. You might have to do a study of, say, the top 5 draft picks over the past 5 years and see what their gamers have sold for. It could be done, perhaps not easily. 

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Considering some of the draft picks in the last few years, like McDavid and Eichel, you could argue the value of the Marner jersey is considerably more than what he paid for it, if you use that method.

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5 minutes ago, CJ Matthews said:

Considering some of the draft picks in the last few years, like McDavid and Eichel, you could argue the value of the Marner jersey is considerably more than what he paid for it, if you use that method.

Could go either way. If you took the top 5 picks over the last 5 years and did an average, I think that would be a reasonable number. You would need to find sales that occurred before the draft picks played in their first NHL game, though, because as they prove themselves at the NHL level, its reasonable to assume that the value goes up. You can't compare a McDavid or an Eichel to a Marner at this point, both had successful rookie seasons, Marner has not. 

Again, not saying it would be easy, but that's what you'd need to do to prove the value. A judge or jury isn't going to understand jerseys, but they aren't supposed to. You, as the attorney, are supposed to give them the evidence upon which they form a decision. The last thing on earth you'd want (depending which side you are on and what the opinion is), is a judge or a jury with a preconceived notion of what the damages should be.

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6 minutes ago, mfitz804 said:

Could go either way. If you took the top 5 picks over the last 5 years and did an average, I think that would be a reasonable number. You would need to find sales that occurred before the draft picks played in their first NHL game, though, because as they prove themselves at the NHL level, its reasonable to assume that the value goes up. You can't compare a McDavid or an Eichel to a Marner at this point, both had successful rookie seasons, Marner has not. 

Again, not saying it would be easy, but that's what you'd need to do to prove the value. A judge or jury isn't going to understand jerseys, but they aren't supposed to. You, as the attorney, are supposed to give them the evidence upon which they form a decision. The last thing on earth you'd want (depending which side you are on and what the opinion is), is a judge or a jury with a preconceived notion of what the damages should be.

That's hard to do too.  Eichel and McDavid year would certainly skew the number higher as they out outliers.  Even comparing the previous #4 overalls for the previous 5 years to him while closer is tricky (Sam Bennett, Seth Jones, Griffin Reinhart, Adam Larsson, Ryan Johansen).  Plus, this particular jersey was bid on with the assumption (due to vague or grammatically incorrect wording) that this was worn by him "throughout the entire 2015-16 season" which would for most people include the Memorial Cup playoffs and finals.  So you also have that aspect as this was skewed higher as people thought he wore this in the finals.

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13 minutes ago, Devilsguy said:

That's hard to do too.  Eichel and McDavid year would certainly skew the number higher as they out outliers.  Even comparing the previous #4 overalls for the previous 5 years to him while closer is tricky (Sam Bennett, Seth Jones, Griffin Reinhart, Adam Larsson, Ryan Johansen).  Plus, this particular jersey was bid on with the assumption (due to vague or grammatically incorrect wording) that this was worn by him "throughout the entire 2015-16 season" which would for most people include the Memorial Cup playoffs and finals.  So you also have that aspect as this was skewed higher as people thought he wore this in the finals.

I'm not sure I agree with the bolded portion. I think if a jersey is worn in the playoffs or the finals, a seller would typically include that information as a selling point for that exact reason. I would expect a finals worn jersey to bring more money. "Throughout the entire 2015-16 season", if that is the actual wording it was listed with, would imply to me it was worn during the entire regular season. If it included the playoffs or finals, I would expect the seller would have noted "including the playoffs and finals", because that would increase the potential sale. 

In fact, if one were to look at the MeiGray website, unquestionably "experts" in the field of game worn jerseys, the jersey description always states when it was worn in the playoffs, even if it was a "Regular Season Set 3 and playoffs", which I have seen a bunch of times. 

Not that you couldn't make that argument, I just think you'd have a hard time getting anyone to buy it. BUT, as with all things, I haven't seen the original listing which would be important to read to form a better opinion. 

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I don't beleive that the Ontario superior court uses juries in civil trials. It's just a judge and they weigh the evidence and decide who is more believable. 

Just a small difference between Canadian law and US law. 

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2 hours ago, mfitz804 said:

I'm not sure I agree with the bolded portion. I think if a jersey is worn in the playoffs or the finals, a seller would typically include that information as a selling point for that exact reason. I would expect a finals worn jersey to bring more money. "Throughout the entire 2015-16 season", if that is the actual wording it was listed with, would imply to me it was worn during the entire regular season. If it included the playoffs or finals, I would expect the seller would have noted "including the playoffs and finals", because that would increase the potential sale. 

In fact, if one were to look at the MeiGray website, unquestionably "experts" in the field of game worn jerseys, the jersey description always states when it was worn in the playoffs, even if it was a "Regular Season Set 3 and playoffs", which I have seen a bunch of times. 

Not that you couldn't make that argument, I just think you'd have a hard time getting anyone to buy it. BUT, as with all things, I haven't seen the original listing which would be important to read to form a better opinion. 

That's the thing, the listing is vague and was not done by someone who knows what he or she is doing.  I believe the jersey in question is their third jersey and historically they use those the entire season including the playoffs.  Meigray knows what they are doing/listing, so there is little doubt or ambiguity there, but again it's clear whoever typed out the jersey description either had poor grammar skills (possible) and/or didn't know what he/she was doing (which I believe more).

I won't claim to be a London Knights gamer expert or even a juniors gamer expert, but I think that the $ it sold for is on the higher range just for a regular season gamer from Mitch Marner.  I really do think the price reflects what people understood to be a Memorial cup worn jersey.

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1 hour ago, AlereFlammam said:

I don't beleive that the Ontario superior court uses juries in civil trials. It's just a judge and they weigh the evidence and decide who is more believable. 

Just a small difference between Canadian law and US law. 

  You can have a bench trial in the states as well. But the process is the same. You have to prove your case to the finder of fact, be it the judge or the jury. The judge will not have any idea about the subject matter, even if he does, he is not supposed to rely on that. He is supposed to rely on the evidence .

 

1 hour ago, Devilsguy said:

That's the thing, the listing is vague and was not done by someone who knows what he or she is doing.  I believe the jersey in question is their third jersey and historically they use those the entire season including the playoffs.  Meigray knows what they are doing/listing, so there is little doubt or ambiguity there, but again it's clear whoever typed out the jersey description either had poor grammar skills (possible) and/or didn't know what he/she was doing (which I believe more).

I won't claim to be a London Knights gamer expert or even a juniors gamer expert, but I think that the $ it sold for is on the higher range just for a regular season gamer from Mitch Marner.  I really do think the price reflects what people understood to be a Memorial cup worn jersey.

I have to disagree again.  I do not think a reasonable collector would look at that description, which does not mention the Jersey having been worn in the playoffs, or the Memorial cup, and would assume that the Jersey had been play off or Memorial cup worn.  Even if they did, that would be their own fault. That listing says it was worn for the 2015 2016 season, not the 2016 playoffs, not the postseason, not the Memorial cup.  If you are willing to spend $4000 on the Jersey, based on an assumption that does not comport with the items description, that is just reckless collecting.  I believe a prudent collector would have either asked, if that was an option, or set their bid based on what the item description stated, not at assumption about the item based on said description. 

The London Knights should be calling me, I could defend the crap out of this case.

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I think we can all agree on two things. 

1. The Knights screwed up big time.

2. There's more to mfitz than meets the eye. ?

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12 minutes ago, jsh139 said:

I think we can all agree on two things. 

1. The Knights screwed up big time.

2. There's more to mfitz than meets the eye. ?

1. Definitely.

2. We've only merely scratched the surface. 

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10 hours ago, mfitz804 said:

  You can have a bench trial in the states as well. But the process is the same. You have to prove your case to the finder of fact, be it the judge or the jury. The judge will not have any idea about the subject matter, even if he does, he is not supposed to rely on that. He is supposed to rely on the evidence .

 

I have to disagree again.  I do not think a reasonable collector would look at that description, which does not mention the Jersey having been worn in the playoffs, or the Memorial cup, and would assume that the Jersey had been play off or Memorial cup worn.  Even if they did, that would be their own fault. That listing says it was worn for the 2015 2016 season, not the 2016 playoffs, not the postseason, not the Memorial cup.  If you are willing to spend $4000 on the Jersey, based on an assumption that does not comport with the items description, that is just reckless collecting.  I believe a prudent collector would have either asked, if that was an option, or set their bid based on what the item description stated, not at assumption about the item based on said description. 

The London Knights should be calling me, I could defend the crap out of this case.

There you go, for me the 2015/16 season to me says the entire thing. The season ends once the Memorial Cup is lifted.

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2 hours ago, DJ Rhea said:

There you go, for me the 2015/16 season to me says the entire thing. The season ends once the Memorial Cup is lifted.

Said no jersey collector ever. 

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1 hour ago, mfitz804 said:

Said no jersey collector ever. 

You can interpret it both ways really.  That is why if a private collector ever put that description for a jersey for sale I would always ask him/her to clarify if that means playoffs or not.  It really could mean both (and personally I would initially interpret that as both regular season and playoff).  I am not even sure if juniors wear a different set for the playoffs.

Also according to other collectors who won the other lots from the same auction, their jerseys were worn in the playoffs/finals and can match them.

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2 hours ago, zooeyperry10 said:

Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't the Knights/another team get in trouble a couple of years ago for faking game worn gear?

Possibly them or the Spitfires come to mind.

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1 minute ago, Devilsguy said:

You can interpret it both ways really.  That is why if a private collector ever put that description for a jersey for sale I would always ask him/her to clarify if that means playoffs or not.  It really could mean both (and personally I would initially interpret that as both regular season and playoff).  I am not even sure if juniors wear a different set for the playoffs.

Also according to other collectors who won the other lots from the same auction, their jerseys were worn in the playoffs/finals and can match them.

Re: Bolded part #1: Especially if you are holding yourself out to be a big time collector with such knowledge of game worn jerseys that you instantly knew it was faked, as seems to be the case in this instance. You'd think such a guy would do his due diligence before spending all that money. 

Re: Bolded part #2: That is an important fact we are missing. If in fact ALL junior teams use the same jerseys for regular season and playoffs, and there is no such thing as a "playoff set", then the buyer's case is much stronger. "Entire 2015-16 season", if that is the actual language from the original listing which I haven't seen, would then imply playoffs since they played in the playoffs and there is no playoff set. 

Of course, the word "entire" is important there; if the listing only said it was "worn during the 2015-16 season", there is no such implication. 

I sure would like to see that original listing. 

Of course, all of this is academic debate, because its pretty apparent that the jersey he received was not worn in the regular season, the playoffs, or any other time. The buyer states its essentially a new jersey with the added puck scrapes on the sleeve numbers. 

If that his accurate, its still fraud. Pretty stupid fraud as well, because especially if you have only one set, donating the real one to the HHOF and then manufacturing a fake one is pretty obvious. 

Still, not worth $100,000 and the guy is making a money grab. He should just take his money back, or take them up on their offer to retrieve the original from the HHOF, and call it a day. 

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